Fwd: Possible breakthrough: Hand count + scan

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Jan 19 2007 - 19:26:27 CST

What does this group know and think about this voting system by Chaum?
 What would happen if there were ballot programming errors in the
opscan system for instance, or are there more likely to be ballot
programming errors? And how could these ballots be "hand counted" as
the forwarder of the email says they are? Thanks.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peter Jones <peter@redesignresearch.com>
Date: Jan 19, 2007 5:14 PM
Subject: Possible breakthrough: Hand count + scan

OK, I have not read the article yet, but I am very encouraged by this
collaborative, well-thought out process reported in a serious
engineering journal.

Making Every E-Vote Count
IEEE Spectrum (01/07) Vol. 44, No. 1, P. 13; Cherry, Steven

A team of graduate computing engineering students from U.S. and
Canadian universities presented a voting system two months ago that
reportedly jettisons all the problems of commercial e-voting systems.
The team is led by cryptography researcher David Chaum, and the
system, Punchscan, is easy to explain and can be deployed with
commercially available equipment. Among the key problems with
commercial systems that Punchscan addresses are ballots that cannot be
recounted in disputed elections; vulnerability to malware and hackers;
and the possibility of election rigging through the exploitation of
secret computer code contained in commercial e-voting systems. The
Punchscan ballot is designed so that it can be torn in half, with
candidates' names and assigned letters on one half and a set of holes
on the other that correspond to the letters, which show through when
the ballot is folded. A unique number is assigned to the ballot and is
printed on both halves, and the voter indicates the candidate of their
choice with a special pen that marks both the hole on the top sheet
and the number on the bottom sheet; either half of the ballot can be
used to record the votes via a portable scanner, while the other half
is shredded. Since letters are randomly assigned to candidates, no one
can determine the voter's selections by studying just one half of the
ballot, but Punchscan can because the random assignment is recorded in
a database keyed to the ballot number. No database connects the ballot
number with the name of the voter, so the voter's personal choices are
kept private. Since at no point in the voting process do the computers
contain more than half the data needed to know how someone voted,
there is no need to physically safeguard the machines.
Click Here to View Full Article

Cheers, Peter

Peter Jones and Patricia Kambitsch
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Received on Tue Jan 1 14:12:46 2008

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