Re: Comment re: 'Perfection' is the enemy of the good.

From: Michelle Gabriel <mwg_at_jmbaai_dot_com>
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 19:59:38 CST

You still have to take into account lead times to set up for an
election, etc. In CA, they may move the primary up to Feb. If counties
are going to get rid of DREs by then, they need to have RFQs out soon,
there needs to be a HAVA compliant alternative to DREs, etc etc. I
think 2008 is very close adn there is not really a lot of time to wait.
My two cents.
mg

Nancy Tobi wrote:

> This is a very simple, direct, and sensible response. In terms of
> emergencies, please note in our Request By Voters (RBV) that I just
> sent around, we had included a requirement for compliance with the
> federally mandated disaster recovery plans for IT systems (FISMA).
> This would mean that all IT-based election systems would have in place
> hand count paper ballot systems in case of IT failure. This would mean
> that our democratic elections would take place regardless of IT issues.
>
>
>
> On 2/7/07, *Laura Perkins* <python@siriusthoth.com
> <mailto:python@siriusthoth.com>> wrote:
>
> Ed Kennedy wrote: "Finally, remember that 'perfection' is the
> enemy of
> the good."
>
> I've been reading this discussion with interest and trying to find
> a way
> to jump in. I haven't had time to read the bill yet and I don't
> understand all of the technical issues being discussed. I do,
> however,
> want to react to this statement and the other post along that line.
>
> I also think we should be looking for something that can make our
> voting
> systems better in the short term, while keeping in mind that they can
> always be improved. However, by rushing to adopt HAVA at a national
> level, election integrity activists that pushed HAVA made every
> state in
> the union buy new voting equipment that turned out to be no good. We
> can't expect every state to upgrade their equipment every couple of
> years. There isn't that kind of money in budgets, and there isn't
> that
> kind of political will. We can work to improve systems on a local and
> state level, but I think before adopting sweeping new federal
> standards,
> we had better make damned sure they are the right ones.
>
> Let's wait and see if promising initiatives in places like San
> Francisco
> (currently working with OVC and their vendor, Sequoia, to make an open
> system there) can become models and be tested out a bit before
> trying to
> require something nationwide. If an emergency measure is needed
> before
> the 2008 elections, it should be something very, very simple and
> preferably something designed to be able to change when there's no
> longer an emergency.
>
> Regards,
>
> Laura Perkins
>
> ovc-discuss-request@listman.sonic.net
> <mailto:ovc-discuss-request@listman.sonic.net> wrote:
>
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> >
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> >Today's Topics:
> >
> > 1. Re: confused about COTS vs open hardware (Richard C. Johnson)
> > 2. Re: confused about COTS vs open hardware (Jim March)
> > 3. Re: confused about COTS vs open hardware (Edmund R. Kennedy)
> > 4. Alternate to Holt (Nancy Tobi)
> >
> >
> >
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Subject:
> > Re: [OVC-discuss] confused about COTS vs open hardware
> > From:
> > "Richard C. Johnson" <dick@iwwco.com <mailto:dick@iwwco.com>>
> > Date:
> > Wed, 7 Feb 2007 12:26:42 -0800 (PST)
> > To:
> > Open Voting Consortium discussion list <
> ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> > To:
> > Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> >
> > Ben,
> >
> > The goal is to have a completely open hardware and software system
> > with the hardware manufactured to Open Specification of parts which
> > themselves are in the public domain. No IP anywhere, except
> under GNU
> > license.
> >
> > That said, we still need to have Open hardware actually
> assembled. A
> > combination of PC/Linux with a scanner would do it. However, at
> this
> > point, both the scanner and the PC remain to be collected,
> designed,
> > integrated, and tested.
> >
> > Meanwhile, back at the home front, we have election problems
> that need
> > to be solved in order of priority. Bad, corrupt, buggy, and
> > proprietary software is a known problem, largely (not 100%) curable
> > with Open Source software. To me, as many others, it makes sense to
> > try to fix this known and curable problem now, on the way to the
> > ultimate goal of a completely open hardware and software system.
> >
> > Would you have us just wait through two or three more national
> > elections until the hardware solution is open and complete? I
> > appreciate purity and absolute openness; I am also an engineer and
> > would like to build as strong and secure an election structure as we
> > can today with today's materials and techniques and then
> incrementally
> > improve it.
> >
> > That means an Open Source voting application with as much as
> possible
> > of the firmware done in Open Source. That means paying heed to the
> > need for WORM media to transfer both indelible images of ballots and
> > data scanned from the ballots. It means using today's
> technology to
> > build in as much security as we can. So, the answer to your
> question
> > is no, we don't weaken anything by using Open Source voting
> > applications. We strengthen it. Is it at maximum security and
> > strength? Of course not. More remains to be done.
> >
> > The above is my personal opinion and is a direct answer to the
> > proposition that only absolute purity will make any difference
> at all.
> >
> > -- Dick
> >
> > */Ben Adida <ben@eecs.harvard.edu
> <mailto:ben@eecs.harvard.edu>>/* wrote:
> >
> > Alan Dechert wrote:
> > > Yes. I think that's a fair statement.
> >
> > Okay, so what I'm wondering then is: doesn't that
> significantly weaken
> > the advantages of an open-source voting system? If part of the
> > platform
> > is not open, the openness of what's left becomes almost moot.
> >
> > -Ben
> > _______________________________________________
> > OVC-discuss mailing list
> > OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
> <mailto:OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
> > http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
> >
> >
> >
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > Subject:
> > Re: [OVC-discuss] confused about COTS vs open hardware
> > From:
> > "Jim March" <1.jim.march@gmail.com <mailto:1.jim.march@gmail.com>>
> > Date:
> > Wed, 7 Feb 2007 13:52:38 -0700
> > To:
> > "Open Voting Consortium discussion list"
> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> > To:
> > "Open Voting Consortium discussion list" <
> ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> >
> > On 2/7/07, *Ben Adida* <ben@eecs.harvard.edu
> <mailto:ben@eecs.harvard.edu>
> > <mailto: ben@eecs.harvard.edu <mailto:ben@eecs.harvard.edu>>> wrote:
> >
> > Alan Dechert wrote:
> > > Yes. I think that's a fair statement.
> >
> > Okay, so what I'm wondering then is: doesn't that
> significantly weaken
> > the advantages of an open-source voting system? If part of the
> > platform
> > is not open, the openness of what's left becomes almost moot.
> >
> > -Ben
> >
> >
> >
> > Welll...not entirely. It's still better to be able to see how the
> > program SAYS it's behaving, and then you can compare that to
> > real-world behavior.
> >
> > In other words, it doesn't give you perfect transparency right
> away,
> > but it does make it easier to dig through the parts that aren't
> > transparent.
> >
> > In the case of a typical Diebold/Windows system, the non-transparent
> > parts are so enormous, sorting through them all is borderline
> > impossible. Every once in a while we catch some sort of closed-box
> > code doing something bizarre and/or nefarious but it's usually
> because
> > the code breaks in some weird way.
> >
> > A case of this cropped up just within the last few days
> regarding Skype:
> >
> > http://www.pagetable.com/?p=27
> >
> > Jim
> >
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Subject:
> > Re: [OVC-discuss] confused about COTS vs open hardware
> > From:
> > "Edmund R. Kennedy" <ekennedyx@yahoo.com
> <mailto:ekennedyx@yahoo.com>>
> > Date:
> > Wed, 7 Feb 2007 13:08:14 -0800 (PST)
> > To:
> > Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> > To:
> > Open Voting Consortium discussion list <
> ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> >
> > Hello All:
> >
> > First of all, Bravo Richard! I was just thinking of writing
> > something similar. I'll just cut to the point and say that
> election
> > security is a process not an end state. There will always be
> room for
> > improvement and we are tracking a moving target. Finally, remember
> > that 'perfection' is the enemy of the good.
> >
> > Thanks, Ed Kennedy
> >
> > --
> > 10777 Bendigo Cove
> > San Diego, CA 92126-2510
> >
> > 858-578-8842
> >
> > Work for the common good.
> > My profile: < http://geocities.com/ekennedyx/>
> > I blog now and then at: <http://ekennedyx.blogspot.com/>
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----
> > From: Richard C. Johnson < dick@iwwco.com <mailto:dick@iwwco.com>>
> > To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 7, 2007 12:26:42 PM
> > Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] confused about COTS vs open hardware
> >
> > Ben,
> >
> > The goal is to have a completely open hardware and software system
> > with the hardware manufactured to Open Specification of parts which
> > themselves are in the public domain. No IP anywhere, except
> under GNU
> > license.
> >
> > That said, we still need to have Open hardware actually
> assembled. A
> > combination of PC/Linux with a scanner would do it. However, at
> this
> > point, both the scanner and the PC remain to be collected, designed,
> > integrated, and tested.
> >
> > Meanwhile, back at the home front, we have election problems
> that need
> > to be solved in order of priority. Bad, corrupt, buggy, and
> > proprietary software is a known problem, largely (not 100%) curable
> > with Open Source software. To me, as many others, it makes sense to
> > try to fix this known and curable problem now, on the way to the
> > ultimate goal of a completely open hardware and software system.
> >
> > Would you have us just wait through two or three more national
> > elections until the hardware solution is open and complete? I
> > appreciate purity and absolute openness; I am also an engineer and
> > would like to build as strong and secure an election structure as we
> > can today with today's materials and techniques and then
> incrementally
> > improve it.
> >
> > That means an Open Source voting application with as much as
> possible
> > of the firmware done in Open Source. That means paying heed to the
> > need for WORM media to transfer both indelible images of ballots
> and
> > data scanned from the ballots. It means using today's technology to
> > build in as much security as we can. So, the answer to your
> question
> > is no, we don't weaken anything by using Open Source voting
> > applications. We strengthen it. Is it at maximum security and
> > strength? Of course not. More remains to be done.
> >
> > The above is my personal opinion and is a direct answer to the
> > proposition that only absolute purity will make any difference
> at all.
> >
> > -- Dick
> >
> > */Ben Adida <ben@eecs.harvard.edu
> <mailto:ben@eecs.harvard.edu>>/* wrote:
> >
> > Alan Dechert wrote:
> > > Yes. I think that's a fair statement.
> >
> > Okay, so what I'm wondering then is: doesn't that
> significantly weaken
> > the advantages of an open-source voting system? If part of the
> > platform
> > is not open, the openness of what's left becomes almost moot.
> >
> > -Ben
> > _______________________________________________
> > OVC-discuss mailing list
> > OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
> <mailto:OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
> > http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > OVC-discuss mailing list
> > OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
> > http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
> >
> >
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Subject:
> > [OVC-discuss] Alternate to Holt
> > From:
> > "Nancy Tobi" < ntobi@democracyfornewhampshire.com
> <mailto:ntobi@democracyfornewhampshire.com>>
> > Date:
> > Wed, 7 Feb 2007 16:12:50 -0500
> > To:
> > "Open Voting Consortium discussion list"
> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> > To:
> > "Open Voting Consortium discussion list"
> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>>
> >
> >
> >
> > Here is an alternative to Holt - originally submitted as request
> for
> > amendments, but now we understand Holt will never amend their
> bill, so
> > take it as an alternative plan.
> >
> > It is a reasoned, practical, fiscally responsible plan.
> >
> > Please take note of our proposal to reorganize the EAC in the full
> > document referenced at the URL below.
> >
> > Attached is a summary and the Request By Voters itself can be
> found here:
> > http://www.wethepatriots.org/HAVA/requestbyvoters.pdf
> <http://www.wethepatriots.org/HAVA/requestbyvoters.pdf>
> >
> > You can sign up on www.wethepatriots.org
> <http://www.wethepatriots.org> <http://www.wethepatriots.org>
> >
> >
> > Nancy
> > --
> >
> >
> > Nancy Tobi, Chair
> > Democracy for New Hampshire
> > DFNH Fair Elections Committee
> > PO Box 717 | Concord, NH 03301
> > www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com
> <http://www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com>
> > <http://www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com>
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >OVC-discuss mailing list
> >OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
> >http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
> <http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss>
> >
> >
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OVC-discuss mailing list
> OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net <mailto:OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
> http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
> Nancy Tobi, Chair
> Democracy for New Hampshire
> DFNH Fair Elections Committee
> PO Box 717 | Concord, NH 03301
> www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com
> <http://www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com>
>
>------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>_______________________________________________
>OVC-discuss mailing list
>OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
>http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
>
>

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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:13 2007

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