Re: Fwd: Federal Agency: Scrap E-Voting

From: Barbara Simons <simons_at_acm_dot_org>
Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 11:47:26 CST

This is a misrepresentation of what the article says. They call for
"software independence", which means that it should not be necessary to
rely on the accuracy of the software in order to verify the election.
At no point do they call for decertifying DREs. Rather, they suggest
that the 2007 standards mandate a VVPAT for all machines, and they
point out that op scan and ballot printing systems all produce VVPATs,
as do DREs with VVPATs. They observe that there have been problems
with some of the DREs that have been retrofitted with VVPATs, but they
point out that the problems are with the retrofit, not with the notion
of a VVPAT (my language).

The report is only 13 pages and it is very readable. I hope people
will read it, rather than discuss what others are saying, since there
is a lot of misinformation circulating about the report.


On Dec 1, 2006, at 6:45 AM, Jerry Lobdill wrote:

>> Federal Agency: Scrap E-Voting
>> Posted by: "Ron Mills" precinct114r
>> Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:53 pm (PST)
>> A federal agency is set to recommend significant changes to
>> specifications for electronic-voting machines next week,
>> has learned.
>> The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is
>> recommending that the 2007 version of the Voluntary Voting Systems
>> Guidelines (VVSG) decertify direct record electronic (DRE) machines.
>> According to an NIST paper to be discussed at a meeting of election
>> regulators at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., on Dec. 4 and
>> 5, DRE vote totals cannot be audited because the machines are not
>> software independent.
>> In other words, there is no means of verifying vote tallies other
>> than by relying on the software that tabulated the results to begin
>> with.
>> The machines currently in use are "more vulnerable to undetected
>> programming errors or malicious code," according to the paper.
>> The NIST paper also noted that, "potentially, a single programmer
>> could 'rig' a major election."
>> This is incredibly tremendous news:
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Received on Sun Dec 31 23:17:07 2006

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