Re: logic and accuracy tests

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Sat Aug 26 2006 - 15:33:12 CDT

My conclusion is wrong? Tell me more.

I'd agree that L&A testing has the purpose you state. I'd agree that
parallel testing could determine whether a given machine flipped
votes from candidate A to candidate B by comparing the ballots the
testers voted with the "ballots" the machine recorded.

But why do you think that L&A testing and parallel testing can
assure that a machine's software has no Trojan Horse? Have I missed something?


At 02:00 PM 8/26/2006, you wrote:
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>Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] logic and accuracy tests
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>Jerry Lobdill wrote:
>>At 02:00 PM 8/25/2006, you wrote:
>>>>>From: Paul Malischke <><>
>>>>>Date: Aug 24, 2006 8:11 PM
>>>>>Subject: logic and accuracy tests
>>>>>One major arguement that the clerks make against post-election
>>>>>audits of vote counts is that they do logic and accuracy
>>>>>pre-tests. How can we counter this argument?
>>To me the best answer to this is that L&A tests and even parallel
>>testing cannot reveal the presence of Trojan Horse software.
>>Tests--of any kind--can only test the advertised functionality of
>>software. There is no possibility of uncovering inserted software
>>that is designed to permit manipulation of the legitimate functions.
>>It's like trying to prove a negative--it can't be done.
>Your conclusion is incorrect. But L&A testing is not security
>testing, and is unlikely to discover a competently-designed fraud,
>such as one engineered to operate only on election day. Parallel
>testing can do better, since it is performed on election day and is
>meant to determine whether the machines are cheating. For example,
>parallel testing could determine whether a given machine flipped
>votes from candidate A to candidate B by comparing the ballots the
>testers voted with the "ballots" the machine recorded. That said,
>there are a host of ways a well-designed attack might try to escape
>detection during parallel testing, most of which involve determining
>whether the machine is, in fact, being tested. Unless the testers
>are exceedingly careful to make the testing exactly simulate actual
>voting -- from randomly selecting the machines to test right before
>the polls open, to casting a realistic assortment of votes at a
>realistic rate, to using varying amounts of pressure on the
>touch-screen to cast them, etc. -- it's quite likely that some
>well-designed attacks will escape detection during parallel testing.
>>Post election audits are conducted to ascertain whether any kind of
>>irregularity occurred in the election. This is a completely different
>>function than testing.
>Both audits and parallel testing aim to find irregularities and
>fraud. L&A testing mostly aims only to discover whether the machines
>appear to be setup correctly (e.g., to display the appropriate races
>and to allow voters to select the right number of candidates).

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Received on Thu Aug 31 23:17:09 2006

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