Re: Critical analysis of VoteHere

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sat Dec 20 2003 - 01:10:28 CST

On Saturday, December 20, 2003, at 01:11 AM, Clay Lenhart wrote:
> I think it would be more productive to point out the pros and cons of
> various systems. I am going to say it. I'm getting the impression
> that
> the off-list security wiki is a ploy to avoid discussing these issues.

I disagree about the Wiki. It's not an issue of trying to eliminate
discussion; the concern is to create a coherent document for newcomers,
reporters, politicians, etc. In reality, few people are going to read
the entire list archive for something that "may have been mentioned" at
some point.

I don't mind getting some discussion of competing protocols here on the
list, but I would REALLY like a condensation of those to make it to the
Security Wiki. If Clay--nudge, nudge--would like to take
responsibility for that transfer/summary, I think that would be a great
service. Maybe a starting point are his initial Pros/Cons of OVC and
VoteHere.

> Clearly these things are finalized in Alan's eyes.

Alan can be a little short at times... but basically, he's right. A
number of things ARE and must be decided already... especially for the
demo period. We cannot switch directions every time someone has an
interesting idea (or even one that isn't all that interesting). There
are a number of things that really do make the sine qua non of OVC:

  * Open Source
  * Paper ballots
  * Blind accessible voting interface
  * Independent ballot verification (visual and blind-accessible) without
    reliance on the same machine that creates ballots.

If you don't want those, you're not part of OVC. Some other things are
*probably* good ideas in the production time frame, but are not totally
unchangeable:

  * Use of barcodes
  * Particular toolchain for application (Python, wxWindows,
touchscreens, X11, Linux, etc)
  * Ballot signing/cryptography (not there in demo)
  * XML formats

Nonetheless, even things that might eventually change in production are
decided as working assumptions; they won't change -soon- or -easily-.

Still... building a good Security document that is rich with relevant
comparisons of different systems is probably a necessary step towards
any later modifications of OVC protocols.

Yours, David...
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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:15 2003

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