Secure voting (was Re: [IMC-Tech] An urgent plea for your assistance)

From: Edward Cherlin <edward_dot_cherlin_at_etssg_dot_com>
Date: Sun Dec 28 2003 - 16:11:48 CST

Enic is right that pure electronic voting would be a disaster,
but it turns out that there is also hopeful news. The Open
Voting Consortium is on the case, and is already getting buy-in
from voting officials in several states.

OVC

http://www.openvotingconsortium.org

has a SourceForge project to create Free/Open Source voting
software for systems combining electronic touch-screen voting
with voter-verified, machine-readable paper ballots. The
electronic system prevents over-voting, greatly reduces
under-voting, and supports unassisted private voting for people
with several types of disability. The paper ballot, combined
with software verification techniques and appropriate human
procedures, will be verifiably far more secure than current
voting systems. Procedures recommended for use with the system
will be based on a detailed security audit of voting procedures
and requirements.

You can try out a demo version of the proposed voting process on
the Website, and print a ballot with your selections. Click on
EVM2003 for information and a link to the demo.

A prototype of the complete system is planned to be available for
demonstrations in the San Francisco Bay Area in January. Contact
OVC if you would like to arrange a demonstration for your state
or national voting officials or legislators, or if you want to
write a story about OVC, or if you would like to contribute to
the effort.

My company, Encore Technologies, is interested in finding
partners to build machines, using Encore's hardware and language
technology and the OVC software, to offer for sale to every
country in the world that holds elections.

On Sunday 28 December 2003 08:52 am, Eric A. Smith wrote:
> I'm writing today to ask for your help because I'm very, very
> frightened.
>
> My name is Eric Smith. I'm a journalist and IT instructor in
> Tokyo. And after three years of study I've come to a
> terrifying conclusion. As British security expert Scott
> Granneman put it, "the heart of American democracy is at
> risk."

The 2004 presidential election is indeed at some risk.

> The import of this threat cannot be overstated -- the issue is
> very real and very grave. The chilling, incontrovertible fact
> is that America's elections are being silently, deliberately
> and PERMANENTLY compromised. The problem lies in the rapid
> installation of unauditable, unverifiable DRE (Direct
> Recording Electronic) touchscreen voting machines in advance
> of the 2004 elections.

It is possible that DREs will be forced to produce a printed
audit trail allowing voter verification of their own ballots,
even in time for 2004. My district in Santa Clara Country,
California uses Sequoia DREs that produce an audit trail, but do
not let the voter verify it.

> Just how vulnerable are these machines? Author Bev Harris's
> diagrammed report of the hacking of a Diebold "Accuvote"
> machine to reverse an election proves it's not just possible
> -- it's easy:
>
> http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00065.htm#password
>
> These e-voting machines are being quietly installed across the
> country in preparation for the 2004 election, as per the
> characteristically disingenuously-named "Help America Vote
> Act" President Bush mandated in the wake of the 2000 debacle.

Rick Shelley, the California Secretary of State, has announced
that DREs will be required to print out the votes. Other states
are moving in that direction.

> Alarming summaries of independent research by Johns Hopkins
> and Rice University, MIT, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
> and even Congress echo Harris's concerns:
>
> http://www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/20030724_evote_research_r
>eport.pdf
>
> http://www.vote.caltech.edu/Reports/
>
> http://www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/20030723_eff_pr.php
>
> http://www.epic.org/privacy/voting/crsreport.pdf
>
>
>
> The full extent of the threat to our electoral process has
> been documented in Harris's explosive expose, "Black Box
> Voting", which can be downloaded free of charge here:
>
> http://www.talion.com/blackboxvoting.org.htm
>
> In light of these stunning vulnerabilities, US Representative
> Rush Holt has sponsored "The Voter Confidence and Increased
> Accessibility Act of 2003" which which calls for printed
> receipts for the 2004 and subsequent elections:
>
> http://holt.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=5996
>
> Unfortunately, Republican support hasn't been forthcoming, and
> the measure has stalled. Because of the stillborn status of
> Rep. Holt's initiative, the outlook for Americans is rapidly
> worsening to the point of emergency: primaries for the 2004
> election will begin in two months.
>
> And so, I'm writing to ask -- in fact to BEG -- for your help
> in seeking an immediate moratorium on the use of paperless,
> unverifiable e-vote machines in the 2004 election. The use of
> paper ballots may be the only interim solution to assure a
> verifiable election: DREs which produce verifiable paper
> receipts are available, but are not currently in widespread
> use.
>
> An immediate legal injunction to halt the use of
> non-verifiable DREs in the 2004 election is a stop-gap
> emergency measure, perhaps at this late date the only way to
> ensure the integrity of our Democratic process. Over the long
> term, lobbying for the implementation of Congressman Holt's
> Voter Integrity Act will provide a more permanent solution.
>
> Today, I'm asking you to aggressively and persistently bring
> the legal and personnel resources of your organization into
> the effort to save our electoral process. Before it's too
> late.
>
> Officials you can phone, fax and email right now:
>
> Congress
> http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/
>
> State elections boards:
> http://www.blackboxvoting.org/htdocs/dcforum/DCForumID29/47.ht
>ml
>
> State Attorneys General (party affiliations listed):
> http://www.naag.org/ag/full_ag_table.php
>
> State Election Officials
> http://www.nased.org/
>
> Members, Natl. Assoc. of County Recorders, Election Officials
> and Clerks: http://www.nacrc.org/leadership/st_coord.htm
>
> Penelope Bonsall, national director of the Office of Election
> Administration Office of Election Administration
> Federal Election Commission
> 999 E Street, NW
> Washington, DC 20463
> vss@fec.gov
> (202) 694-1095 (phone)
> (202) 219-8500 (fax)
>
> Online e-petitions EFF and VerifiedVoting.org:
> http://action.eff.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=2821
> http://www.verifiedvoting.org
>
>
>
> Media Contacts:
> http://dmoz.org/Arts/Television/News/
> http://newslink.org
> http://www.cantufind.com/american_newspapers.htm
> http://dmoz.org/Arts/Radio/Formats/Talk_Radio/Networks/
> http://dmoz.org/Arts/Radio/Formats/Talk_Radio/Stations/
> http://dmoz.org/Arts/Television/Networks/Cable/
> http://dmoz.org/Arts/Television/Networks/
> http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Broadcasting/Information/
>
> Alternative e-voting machines:
> http://www.accupoll.com/
> http://www.aitechnology.com/avantetech/home.html
> http://www.vogueelection.com/
>
> Author Bev Harris is also in immediate need of attorneys for
> coordinating legal injunctions to stop insecure voting machine
> use before the 2004 primaries: Bevharriscontact@aol.com
>
> Act now - your country needs you. And the time is getting
> very, very short.
>
> Tomorrow might be just one day too late.
>
> sincerely,
>
> Eric A. Smith
> Tokyo, Japan
> snowdog@juno.ocn.ne.jp
>
>
> BACKGROUND
>
> Compelling evidence for the gravity of the situation can be
> found in the following "smoking gun" internal emails from
> Diebold. As you've no doubt heard, the company began a
> desperate attempt at suppressing the distribution of these
> emails on the Internet, in a series of gag lawsuits
> succesfully countered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation
> last month.
>
> One of these emails -- from Lana Hires to Global Election
> Systems (now Diebold) -- baldly states how 16 THOUSAND e-votes
> for Gore were "disappeared" during the 2000 Presidential
> election. Hires frantically asks how she should explain this
> to an auditor:
>
> <I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the
> County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an
> explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16022
> [votes] when it was uploaded. Will someone please explain this
> so that I have the information to give the auditor instead of
> standing here "looking dumb"
>
> Additional excerpts from the Diebold internal emails:
>
> <For a demonstration I suggest you fake it. Progam them both
> so they look the same, and then just do the upload fro [sic]
> the AV. That is what we did in the last AT/AV demo.
>
> <Right now you can open GEMS' .mdb file with MS-Access, and
> alter its contents. That includes the audit log. This isn't
> anything new.
>
> <Elections are not rocket science. Why is it so hard to get
> things right! I have never been at any other company that has
> been so miss [sic] managed.
>
> <Johnson County, KS will be doing Central Count for their mail
> in ballots. They will also be processing these ballots in
> advance of the closing of polls on election day. They would
> like to log into the Audit Log an entry for Previewing any
> Election Total Reports. They need this, to prove to the media,
> as well as, any candidates & lawyers, that they did not view
> or print any Election Results before the Polls closed.
> However, if there is a way that we can disable the reporting
> functionality, that would be even better.
>
> "Diebold - The face of modern ballot tampering"
> http://www.bartcop.com/diebold.htm
>
> "If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting
> Machines"
> http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0131-01.htm
>
> "How George W. Bush Won the 2004 Presidential Election"
> http://www.infernalpress.com/Columns/election.html
>
> "Safeguarding the Vote"
> http://www.yesmagazine.org./26courage/pibel.htm
>
> "Electronic Voting Machines Blasted by Scientists, Hacked by
> Author"
> http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00198.htm
>
> Did You Know:
>
> * Diebold "disappeared" over 16,000 Presidential votes in one
> Florida county during the 2,000 election?
> http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0310/S00275.htm
>>
> * Diebold's primary business is making ATMs and ticket
> machines (which DO provide paper printouts, unlike their
> voting machines!), has already been infected with worm
> viruses:
>
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,61526,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_8
>>
> * The Diebold "Accuvote" machine has been hacked and an
> election reversed by author Bev Harris:
> http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00198.htm
>
> * Diebold's Board of Directors donated over a quarter of a
> milllion dollars to Republican campaigns in the last six
> years?
> http://www.bartcop.com/diebold.htm
>
> * Sequoia machines use different software when being tested
> than when being used in elections?
>
http://www.exit.com/RiversideVoteTest/RiversideCountyTestObservationBoard.pdf
>
> * Walden O'Dell, Diebold's CEO, is a Bush/Cheney Pioneer, and
> hosted a $600,000 fundraiser for Cheney in 2003?
> http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0311/S00084.htm
>
> * O'Dell in an Ohio Republican fundraising letter, promised to
> "deliver all of Ohio's votes to the President in 2004"?
> http://www.dscc.org/information/stopvotingmachines_letter/
>
> * Senator Chuck Hagel secretly ran ES&S, the company that
> counted his votes in a "stunning upset victory -- the biggest
> landslide in the state's history?
> http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0131-01.htm
>
> * Hagel lied to Congress about about his involvement in the
> company?
>http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx
>
> * Hagel has already bought the rights to the
> "HagelforPresident2008" website domain?
>
http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26
>
> * Hagel's campaign manager, Michael McCarthy, is now a major
> owner of ES&S?
> http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0311/S00084.htm
>
> * Before running ES&S, Hagel was head of the Private Sector
> Council for George H.W. Bush?
>
http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26

-- 
Edward Cherlin, Simputer Evangelist
Encore Technologies (S) Pte. Ltd.
Computers for all of us
http://www.simputerland.com, http://cherlin.blogspot.com
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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:18 2003

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