Re: draft of text for new OVC-sponsored bill

From: Fred McLain <mclain_at_zipcon_dot_net>
Date: Sat Jan 24 2009 - 18:09:29 CST

Do you have a new IM?

I would like to chat.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 24, 2009, at 3:53 PM, David Mertz <mertz@gnosis.cx> wrote:

>>> "You must have made a mistake; here, we'll void your ballot and
>>> let you vote again." Most voters grumble and accept. The attacker
>>> has programmed the machine not to cheat twice in a row. The voters
>>> re-vote, all is well, officials chalk it up to "voter error" or "a
>>> glitch", and nothing is done. Maybe one or two voters stick with
>>> their complaints. Officials label them cranks (at best) or call
>>> the police to charge them with monkeywrenching or terrorist
>>> incitement (at worst).
>
> I definitely don't believe that technology is a silver bullet. You
> need human procedures that make sense as well. Clearly, charging
> disenfranchised voters with terrorism is not such a good
> procedure... even *I* am not *that* cynical though.
>
>>> Also, as Jim March observed, voters' errors on hand-filled paper
>>> ballots will be random and will lack a partisan bias (unless the
>>> ballot is very badly designed). In contrast, an attack on ballot
>>> printers will (by definition) have a partisan bias.
>
> The badly designed paper is a REALLY BIG caveat. Doesn't anyone
> remember Florida in 2000 anymore? Or a thousand other jurisdictions
> with less publicized design errors in paper ballots.
>
> Also, an error in a ballot printer is not *by definition* partisan.
> Sure, it could be, even if the error was initially careless rather
> than malicious. E.g. a calibration error skews votes towards the
> candidate listed lower on the screen. On the other hand, if this
> same possible error was on a system with randomized candidate order,
> the error wouldn't favor any particular candidate or party (since
> any one of them would be equally likely to occur at the bottom of
> the list). The real answer is "it depends".
>
>> This essay ignores the effects of DoS attacks, presentation
>> attacks, selection attacks,
>
> We've had plenty of DoS attacks on all-paper ballot precincts! Some
> of them right here in LA county in 2008! I think Arthur has written
> well of something similar when he was an election judge, and
> inadequate numbers of paper ballots were provided to his precinct.
>
> A DoS attack need not be planned with sophisticated software that
> counts voting history per machine. You pretty much know voting
> patterns by precinct, and causing long lines among "undesirable"
> voters is an old and nasty trick that isn't particularly dependent
> on polling-place technology.
>
>
> ---
> A nice word for MS: <IMG SRC="c:\con\con">
>
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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:51 2010

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