Re: I need some help

From: JamBoi <jamboi_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 19:19:18 CDT

Bravo Teresa!

JamBoi

--- Teresa Hommel <tahommel@earthlink.net> wrote:

> 3. I need someone who is well versed in OVC's system to read section
> 2.4
> of Shamos's paper
> (http://euro.ecom.cmu.edu/people/faculty/mshamos/paper.htm#_edn1 )
> and
> to write a technically solid rebuttal. Reward: naming as a co-author.
>
> Ron, I implore you not to make the same mistake that Shamos makes. He
>
> says in section 1.1 that he sees no "engineering difference" between
> airplanes and voting machines. That's why he ends up making such
> outlandish statements and arguments -- he views elections as an
> engineering problem. But elections are not an engineering problem,
> they
> are a democracy problem. If you ignore the needs of a legitimate
> democratic election, of course you may write something technically
> solid
> but it is likely to be irrelevant to the needs of our democracy. I
> actually gave a whole speech on this topic.
> http://www.wheresthepaper.org/RadcliffeFeb12_2005_TeresaHommel.htm
>
> Below are my responses to section 2.4 of Shamos' paper.
>
> Teresa Hommel
>
> 2.4. The "Voter-Verified" Paper Trail
>
> It is alleged that adding a so-called "voter-verified
> paper
> trail" to a DRE machine will either permit tampering to be detected
> or
> at the very least will provide a reliable record of how each voter
> voted
> that can be used for a recount, even if the recount must be conducted
> by
> hand. This is incorrect. A paper trail accomplishes one thing, and
> one
> thing only - it provides assurance to the voter that her vote was
> initially captured correctly by the machine.
>
> FALSE. IT RECORDS THE VOTER'S CHOICES ON A "PERMANENT" NON-ELECTRONIC
>
> MATERIAL WHICH CAN BE USED TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPUTER
> RECORD OF THE BALLOT WAS CORRECT. SHAMOS IS FALSELY NAIVE HERE,
> BECAUSE
> AS A COMPUTER SCIENTIST HE KNOWS THAT THE SCREEN CAN SHOW ONE THING,
> THE
> INTERNAL RECORD CAN SHOW ANOTHER, AND THE PAPER PRINTOUT CAN BE THE
> SAME
> OR DIFFERENT FROM THE SCREEN OR INTERNAL RECORD.
>
> This is no small accomplishment, but it can be achieved in numerous
> other ways, as explained below. That is the only voter-verified
> part.
> The paper trail provides no assurance at all that her vote will ever
> be
> counted or will be counted correctly. The reason simply is that the
> paper trail itself becomes insecure at the moment of its creation.
>
> TRUE, AND ALSO THE INTERNAL ELECTRONIC RECORD BECOMES INSECURE AT THE
>
> MOMENT OF ITS CREATION, REGARDLESS WHETHER IT WAS ACCURATE OR
> INACURATE
> TO BEGIN WITH. HOWEVER, THE PAPER RECORD CAN BE WATCHED BY
> NONTECHNICAL
> ORDINARY CITIZEN ELECTION OBSERVERS, AND THE ELECTRONIC RECORD OF THE
>
> BALLOT CAN NOT BE OBSERVED.
>
>
> First, if the machine cannot be trusted, which is the
> working hypothesis of paper trail proponents, then it cannot be
> trusted
> to deal with the paper trail safely. After the voter leaves the
> voting
> booth, it can mark her ballot as void and print a different one. The
>
> voter will have left the booth believing not only that her vote was
> cast
> and counted properly, but that it will also be counted properly in
> any
> recount. None of these beliefs is correct.
>
> TRUE, AND THIS IS ONE REASON WHY A POPULEX-TYPE DESIGN IS DESIRABLE,
> WHERE THE VOTER TAKES THE PAPER BALLOT IN HAND AND DELIVERS IT TO THE
>
> COUNTING STATION (OR OPTICAL SCANNER).
>
>
> One might argue that inspection and testing of the
> machine
> would reveal such abjectly bad behavior, but the claim of DRE
> opponents
> is that no amount of inspection and testing is ever sufficient. If
> testing is adequate to reveal paper trail flaws, then it is adequate
> to
> uncover other faults in the machines.
>
> TRUE, INSPECTION AND TESTING OF AN EVOTE COMPUTER MEAN NOTHING
> BECAUSE
> THE COMPUTER IS MANAGED BY NONTECHNICAL ELECTION WORKERS WHO WOULDN'T
>
> NOTICE IF IT WAS TAMPERED WITH, AND ARE CERTAINLY INCAPABLE OF
> PERFORMING SOPHISTOCATED ROUTINES TO VERIFY WHAT SOFTWARE IS IN THE
> COMPUTER.
>
> Here is a further, but only partial, catalog of problems
> with paper trails.
>
> 1. The paper trail cannot be on a continuous roll of paper, since
> that
> would permit reconstruction of each voter's ballot based on the order
> in
> which votes were cast. Therefore, the paper trail must consist of
> separate pieces of paper. However, once the pieces of paper are
> separated, the integrity of the trail is lost. Looking at a piece of
>
> paper, we will not be able to tell for certain where it came from.
> Stuffing and all other paper ballot tampering methods then become
> possible. The addition of cryptographic indicia, which has been
> proposed as a method to prevent insertion of unauthorized ballots,
> cannot work since the voter will never know whether her real ballot
> contained the proper indicia when it was created. If it didn't, the
> ballot will not be tabulated during a recount.
>
> PARTLY TRUE, NO MACHINE CAN PREVENT FRAUD BY INSIDERS AND COLUSION OF
>
> INSIDERS AND VOTERS. ONLY MULTIPARTISAN OBSERVERS WHO ARE NOT PART OF
>
> THE COLLUSION CAN DO THAT BY OBSERVING THE BALLOT BOX AND THE
> BALLOTS.
>
> 2. Adding a paper printing device to a DRE machine naturally adds
> another component that can fail, run out of ink, jam or run out of
> paper. If DREs are alleged already to be prone to failure, adding a
> paper trail cannot improve that record. In Brazil in 2003, where a
> small number of precincts had installed paper trails, failure of the
> printers delayed voters by as much as 12 hours, a figure that would
> be
> catastrophic in the U.S.[32]
>
> SHAMOS IMPLIES THAT AMERICANS CAN SEND A SPACE SHIP TO THE MOON, BUT
> WE
> CANNOT BUILD A PRINTER THAT CAN PRINT 200 SHEETS OF PAPER IN 12
> HOURS.
> SO BUY A JAPANESE PRINTER.
>
> SERIOUSLY, THIS IS WHY MANY PEOPLE ADVOCATE HAND-MARKED PAPER BALLOTS
> TO
> BE COUNTED BY A PRECINCT-BASED OPTICAL SCANNER. IF THE OPTICAL
> SCANNER
> BREAKS, VOTERS CAN STILL MARK THEIR BALLOTS. MY PENCIL MIGHT BREAK,
> BUT
> I COULD BORROW ANOTHER ONE AND IT WON'T COST $3000 TO $8000 LIKE A
> DRE
> WOULD.
>
> 3. There is no voter-verified paper trail machine that has been
> tested
> on any large scale.
>
> TRUE, AND THERE IS NO DRE THAT HAS EVER BEEN AUDITED AFTER AN
> ELECTION.
> AMERICAN ELECTIONS ARE A SORRY BUSINESS.
>
> 4. States that propose to implement the paper trail have promulgated
>
> regulations stating that the paper shall govern over the electronic
> record in the event of discrepancy[33]. This has the effect of
> making
> the insecure paper record paramount over the secure electronic one, a
>
> return to the early days of the Australian ballot.
>
> REPETION IS NOT AN ARGUMENT. NO ELECTRONIC RECORD OF ANY ELECTION HAS
>
> EVER BEEN AUDITED, SO WE DON'T KNOW IF ANY ELECTRONIC ELECTION HAS
> BEEN
> CONDUCTED HONESTLY AND WITHOUT ERRORS. HOWEVER WITH MULTIPARTISAN
> OBSERVATION OF PAPER BALLOTS, WE CAN BE SURE THAT EITHER ALL
> OBSERVERS
> COLLUDED WITH FRAUD, OR NO FRAUD OCCURRED.
>
> 5. With complex ballots, voters are prone to forget exactly whom
> they
> have voted for. When confronted with a paper record, they may
> erroneously claim that the machine made a mistake. This will call
> the
> machine's reliability into question, prompt calls for a recount and
> cast
> doubt even on machines that are functioning properly.
>
> THIS IS ONE REASON WHY MANY PEOPLE ADVOCATE HAND-MARKED PAPER BALLOTS
> TO
> BE COUNTED BY A PRECINCT-BASED OPTICAL SCANNER.
>
> 6. Paper trails do not address the problem of DRE failures. If the
> complaint is that a machine cannot be initialized for use on the
> morning
> of election day, then having a paper trail mechanism is of no help.
> In
> fact, the presence of the mechanism increases the load on the
> machine's
> power supply and processor and itself increases the probability of
> failure.
>
> PAPER TRAILS ARE NOT A PANACEA, THEY PROVIDE AN INDEPENDENT MEANS FOR
>
> AUDITING THE COMPUTER. ALL VOTING SYSTEMS SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY
> SUFFICIENT PAPER BALLOTS SO THAT VOTERS CAN VOTE IF THE EQUIPMENT
> BREAKS. FOR EXAMPLE, IN NEW YORK EVERY ELECTION DISTRICT HAS 300
> PAPER
> BALLOTS PACKACED IN THE BACK POCKET OF ONE OF ITS MECHANICAL LEVER
> MACHINES.
>
> 7. The paper trail requires a re-examination of meaning of the terms
>
> "ballot" and "official ballot." This is not a mere semantic
> exercise,
> but a question of great legal and, in some states, constitutional
> significance. Can a piece of paper be a ballot if it is neither
> marked
> nor touched by the voter? If so, significant statutory changes will
> be
> required. If the paper is the ballot, then what conceivable meaning
> can
> be ascribed to the computer count, which is not derived by counting
> the
> "ballots," but by processing the voters' original inputs that were
> separately used to generate the ballots? If the paper ballots are
> official, then we are put in the untenable position of having to
> certify
> an election without ever actually counting the ballots, unless an
> allegation of irregularity compels a "recount."
>
> ELECTRONIC VOTING HAS BEEN THE CAUSE AND RESULT OF MANY CHANGES IN
> OUR
> LAWS. CHANGING TECHNOLOGY OFTEN CHANGES LAWS. FOR EXAMPLE, BEFORE WE
> HAD
> CARS, WE DIDN'T HAVE SPEED LIMITS ON OUR HIGHWAYS.
>
> CAN AN ELECTRONIC RECORD THAT IS NEITHER MARKED NOR TOUCHED BY THE
> VOTER
> BE A BALLOT? IT CAN IF THE LAW SAYS IT CAN, AND THE CHANGES TO LAWS
> OR
> STATE CONSTITUTIONS ARE UNLIKELY TO BE "GREAT" OR "SIGNIFICANT."
>
> HOWEVER THE EFFECT OF INVISIBLE ELECTRONIC BALLOTS THAT CANNOT BE
> OBSERVED BY ORDINARY MULTIPARTISAN CITIZEN OBSERVERS IS GREAT AND
> SIGNIFICANT -- THE EFFECT IS TO UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMACY OF OUR
> ELECTIONS AND OUR GOVERNMENT. THIS IS BECAUSE UNOBSERVED
> VOTE-RECORDING
> AND VOTE-COUNTING, AND REQUIRING VOTERS AND THE PEOPLE TO "TRUST"
> UNOBSERVED THESE PROCESSES IS ANTITHETICAL TO ELECTION LEGITIMACY.AND
> TO
> DEMOCRACY ITSELF.
>
> 8. Each losing candidate will claim that the election was stolen
> from
> him by the machine and will insist that the only true indication of
> the
> voters' preferences reside on the paper, even if there is no evidence
> of
> irregularity or tampering. Thus paper recount will become the
> default
> method of vote counting, mitigated only by the high cost of such
> recounts. If this is to be the case, why use voting machines in the
> first place?
>
> THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO USE ELECTRONIC VOTING.
>
> 9. Paper trails cannot readily be viewed by disabled voters,
> requiring
> them yet again to reveal their votes to strangers in order to have
> them
> verified. It is no answer to say that there are other mechanisms to
> review their votes. If paper trail proponents truly believe the
> paper
> trail is necessary for fair elections, then elections will not be
> fair
> for the disabled.
>
> THE PURPOSE OF AN ELECTION IS TO DETERMINE THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IN
> SELECTING OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS. AN ELECTION IS FAIR IF ALL PERSONS
> LEGALLY ENTITLED TO VOTE ARE IN FACT ABLE TO CAST A BALLOT WITHOUT
> UNDUE
> BARRIERS, AND THEIR VOTES ARE RECORDED AND COUNTED ACCURATELY.
>
> HAVING A DISABILITY IS NOT FAIR. PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES THAT FORCE
>
> THEM TO DEPEND ON OTHERS SUFFER NOT ONLY FROM THEIR DISABILITY BUT
> FROM
> OUR CULTURE'S DISRESPECT FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT "INDEPENDENT," AND
> THIS
> IS NOT FAIR.
>
> HOWEVER, WHEN A PERSON REQUIRES ASSISTANCE FROM OTHERS IN COMPARABLE
> AREAS OF THEIR LIFE, AND ALSO REQUIRES ASSISTANCE TO VOTE, THE
> UNFAIRNESS RESULTS FROM THE DISABILITY AND NOT FROM THE ELECTION.
> WOULD
> YOU SAY THAT IF A PERSON NEEDS ASSISTANCE TO EAT BREAKFAST, THAT THE
> BREAKFAST IS UNFAIR?
>
> FOR MORE DISCUSSION OF VOTERS WITH DISABILTIES, SEE
>
http://www.wheresthepaper.org/Evoting_BadForDemocracy.htm#VotersWithDisabilities
> http://www.wheresthepaper.org/links.html#dis
>
> 10. A report of the Caltech-MIT Voting project concluded that the
> presence of paper trails actually decreases public confidence in the
> voting system[34]. This can be understood as follows: would
> requiring
> airplane passengers to inspect the plane's engines before boarding
> enhance their belief in the safety of the aircraft?
>
> WOULD REQUIRING AIRPLANE PASSENGERS TO WEAR SEAT BELTS ENHANCE THEIR
> BELIEF IN THE SAFETY OF THE AIRCRAFT?
>
> OUR FIRST REQUIREMENT HAS TO BE THAT ELECTIONS ARE LEGITIMATE, AND
> FOR
> ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS THIS MEANS CREATING VOTER-VERIFIED PAPER
> BALLOTS AND USING THEM TO AUDIT THE ELECTION.
>
> My position on paper trails, despite their problems, is
> not
> an extreme one. If a manufacturer produced a reliable paper trail
> device and the remainder of his system were acceptable, I would see
> no
> problem in certifying such a machine. I am firmly opposed to any
> audit
> trail requirement, however, and even where audit trails are used, the
>
> paper record should never govern over the electronic one because it
> is
> vastly less secure. The proper use of audit trails is as evidence.
> If
> the paper trail totals differ from the electronic ones, that is the
> starting point for investigation, not the end of the issue..
>
> ALL TRANSACTION-CAPTURING AND TRANSACTION-PROCESSING SYSTEMS MUST BE
> AUDITED TO ENSURE ACCURACY. THIS IS A PROFESSIONAL IT STANDARD.
>
> ALL ELECTION PROCEDURES MUST BE APPROPRIATELY OBSERVED. THIS IS A
> REQUIREMENT FOR ELECTION LEGITIMACY IN A DEMOCRACY. THIS CONCEPT MAY
> BE
> DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND FOR SOMEONE WHO THINKS THAT "the republic
> will
> survive if a president is elected who was not entitled to the
> office."
> (SECTION 1.1)
>
>
>
>
>
> Ron Crane wrote:
>
> > At Alan's request, I am writing a paper rebutting Prof. Shamos's
> > recent paper that promotes DREs. I've got most of it in hand, but I
>
> > need some help on three issues. Two of them should be easy for
> someone
> > who knows, and one will require some work. I need all these by
> > Thursday if possible. Here they are:
> >
> > 1. A few reliable cites for the proposition that flight-control
> > software is subject to rigorous specification, implementation,
> review,
> > and testing procedures.
> >
> > 2. A few reliable cites for the proposition that software used for
> > major financial transactions (e.g. a bank's check-clearing system)
> is
> > subject to tight standards (though probably not as tight as (1)).
> >
> > 3. I need someone who is well versed in OVC's system to read
> section
> > 2.4 of Shamos's paper
> > (http://euro.ecom.cmu.edu/people/faculty/mshamos/paper.htm#_edn1 )
> and
> > to write a technically solid rebuttal. Reward: naming as a
> co-author.
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > -Ron
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > OVC discuss mailing lists
> > Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
> > arthur@openvotingconsortium.org
> >
>
> > _______________________________________________
> OVC discuss mailing lists
> Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
arthur@openvotingconsortium.org

JamBoi

"Live humbly, laugh often and love unconditionally" (anon)
http://dailyJam.blogspot.com

                
__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
_______________________________________________
OVC discuss mailing lists
Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to arthur@openvotingconsortium.org
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================
Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:15 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Apr 30 2005 - 23:17:22 CDT