RE: FYI - [IP] How They Could Steal the Election This Time and response

From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) <"Popkin,>
Date: Thu Aug 05 2004 - 12:25:26 CDT

What an amazing article. I can't help responding to a few of his claims:

"I have wondered for years why we are not troubled over the possibility that
clever teenagers might divert huge sums from the public treasury by
manipulating the lottery system. It must be that we feel the lottery systems
are secure."

Of course, there are frequent audits, investigations and arrests due to
lottery rigging. So most people trust the lottery system because cheating is
detected and punished, not because we think that the software and hardware
are perfectly secure. Of course, there's far more money to be made in
elections than in a lottery.

He does make a point that "security is available at a price; we're just not
willing to pay that price for elections" evidenced by the idea that we spend
1000x as much running lotteries as elections. Of course, his suggestion that
we use the lottery system to run elections is absurd (as he somewhat
admits), so that part of the paper seems a bit pointless.

His statement in conclusion is that "I have been asked to consult many times
for candidates who hoped to demonstrate that an election had been stolen
from them through tampering with electronic equipment. In no case have I
found credible evidence to support any such theory." This seems a bit weak,
since none of the systems that he's talking about retain enough evidence to
prove tampering, as opposed to the numerous "errors" that have occurred (and
which have changed election results).

- LP

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Arthur
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 1:56 AM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] FYI - [IP] How They Could Steal the
Election This Time and response

For what it's worth, Shamos was extolling DREs and complaining about
paper 11 years ago.



At 9:48 AM -0700 8/3/04, Barbara Simons wrote:
>Shamos knows no shame. For what it's worth, he was also on the wrong side
>of the issue with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act - defending
>and the record industry. Aside from money he gets as an expert witness in
>court cases (both voting and DMCA), I don't know why he does this. But,
>maybe the money is more than an aside.
>On 8/1/04 21:04, "Karl Auerbach" <> wrote:
>> This was on Dave Farber's IP list.
>> One of my thoughts was "shame on Shamos".
>> --karl--
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2004 19:29:25 -0400
>> From: David Farber <>
>> To: Ip <>
>> Subject: [IP] How They Could Steal the Election This Time and response
>> From: "R. A. Hettinga" <>
>> Date: July 31, 2004 4:03:41 PM EDT
>> To:
>> Subject: How They Could Steal the Election This Time
>> <>
>> Click here to return to the browser-optimized version of this page.
>> This article can be found on the web at
>> How They Could Steal the Election This Time
>> [from the August 16, 2004 issue]
>> AND from Mike Shamos who was quoted in the article
>> "I sent the following to The Nation today:"
>> To the Editor:
>> Ronnie Dugger's article ("How They Could Steal The Election This Time,"
>> 16) contains an error in its very first sentence and things only go
>> from there. He claims that voting system vendors could program the
>> "to invisibly falsify the outcomes." There is no basis at all for
>> or even believing, that such a thing is possible. It is pure
>>science fiction
>> to dream that it can be done "invisibly." Machines are tested, and if
>> tampering has occurred it can be found. If the machines have been
>> then forensic examination can detect the alteration. He fails to
>>mention that
>> DRE machines have been used in the United States for over 25 years
without a
>> single verified incident in which the outcome of any election was
>> through tampering.
>> Later, Mr. Dugger misquotes me as having said that "computerized
>> is highly vulnerable to fraud." I wrote many years ago, and still
>> that punched-card voting, not DRE voting, was vulnerable to fraud.
>> His most basic error, however, is in urging that paper systems are
>>safer than
>> electronic ones. Since 1852, the New York Times has published over 4000
>> articles on paper ballot fraud in the United States. That works
>>out to about
>> one article every 12 days for the past 152 years. Paper is not
>>safe. It may
>> be familiar, but it is the principal tool of election fraud in this
>> and
>> always has been. The answer is not to return to paper but to implement
>> safeguards to assure the public that the sorts of machinations Mr.
>> imagines are not possible in practice.
>> ________________________________________________________________________
>> __________
>> Michael I. Shamos
>> Distinguished Career Professor, Language Technologies Institute
>> Director, Universal Library
>> Co-Director, Electronic Commerce degree program
>> 4515 Newell-Simon Hall, Carnegie Mellon University
>> Pittsburgh, PA 15213
>> 412-268-8193 (office phone) 412-268-6298 (office fax) 412-681-8398 (home
>> phone)
>> Home page:
>> -------------------------------------
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Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:04 2004

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