Re: Proposed Electronic Ballot Image Format

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon Aug 25 2003 - 11:23:49 CDT

Dennis Paull <dpaull@svpal.org> wrote:
|c. So the senario you propose requires that all poll workers be
| in on the fraud. This is less likely but still possible.

I do not believe so. It would only take a couple seconds away from
watchful eyes for a corrupt poll worker to slip a bundle of pre-printed
false ballots from a purse or folio and into the ballot box. Manually
operating a machine to print false ballots takes much longer (and is
therefore more likely to be detected), and only produces one false
ballot at a time.

Of course there should be poll workers of different parties at the
polling place. But realistically, during a 12 hour period, there will
be short intervals during which a particular poll worker is not being
watched (only seconds are needed, not even minutes--though bathroom
breaks might allow a small number of minutes for such fraud).

Obviously, if the entire poll staff is corrupt (in the same way), the
situation becomes much worse.

|Although it may be nice to build-in protections against elections staff
|fraud, there are so many ways it could be done that it may be a losing
|cause. Protection against outsider attacks seem to me to be MUCH more
|important. Outsiders include voters.

The attack I describe might be available to voters as well. A slight
inattention by a poll worker could allow a voter or voters to insert
pre-printed false ballots along with the true ballot. This doesn't
require active collaboration by a poll worker, only a minor distraction
(possibly achieved by a collaborator who does something as simple as
trip or spill something at the right moment). Damaging the machine
be could achived using the collaboration of a different voter, later in
the day (oops, I tripped on the cord).

However, if ballots themselves contained a cryptographic signature that
is based on a key that does not exist until the machine is initiated at
the beginning of the voting day... pre-printed ballots would be easily
proven false.
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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:16 2003

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