Joe's Notes from 7/12/2004 meeting with CA asst. SoS Carrel

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Jul 14 2004 - 19:46:02 CDT

Hi Everyone, here are my notes from Monday. All of the below is
strictly my impression of what happened and in no way necessarily the
truth. Feel free to correct me if you were there or comment on the
issues if you were not.

In attendance were Arthur Keller, Deirdre Mulligan, Joseph Hall, Bruce
Perens, Alan D., Karl Auerbach, Amy Pearl, David Jefferson, Asst. CA
SoS Marc Carrel, an SoS consultant and an SoS staffer.

Main points raised:

-Marc Carrel mentioned we'd have to change the law to allow an
OVC-style ballot. Nothing we didn't know but he emphasized how hard of
a time they're having with SB 1438.

-It was clarified that the OVC CD would not be closed until the end of
the day by David Jefferson. Arthur mentioned that the closed CD also
could serve as documentation of all software and ballot images, and
this was the intent.

-The biggest concern for Carrel was having what is essentially a
ballot printer store ballot images. He was of the mind that there are
either DREs or optically-scanned ballots, period. To have an
electronic audit capability and an official paper trail not under the
AVVPAT regulations meant that this opened a new avenue of discrepancy
during canvassing and "what do you do then?" He stated that either you
print official paper ballots only or you record them and provide for a
hard-copy AVVPAT for audit capability. He didn't seem interested in
the argument that the ballot images provide for an audit on the
electronic system. Others on this list can add to this.

-Also concerned with the trouble poll workers would have with learning
the OVC/UCVS system. Arthur countered with "that's part of the
research, system design" (paraphrased).

-Their biggest concern that lead to the ballot-under-glass regulation
in the AVVPAT directive was vote-trading.

-What happens if someone walks out of a precinct with an OVC Summary
Paper Ballot? What is the process for reconciliation during the
closing of the polls and how much of a nuisance is this? (the remark
was, "at least with automark, marksense or punchcard systems they walk
out with the vote itself!")

-Carrel mentioned that the recount procedures in the election code
left a lot to be desired... future legislation.

-Carrel mentioned that budgeting 4 months for certification was not
realistic... He said to get through California alone (during slow
months) it would take 90 days. He then mentioned poll worker training
and county-based logic & accuracy testing. Mentioned submitting in
Jan/Mar is best.

-There was also the comment that there is a certain "social benefit"
to having secret software. That is if allegations are made about
secret software, the SoS can lay blame on the vendor... with open
source the allegations would include lines of code and then they'd
really have to take action as the office of SoS to remedy. The press
and citizenry wouldn't be able to trust the results. What if this
happened very close to an election? David Jefferson mentioned that
the Universe of bugs is very large and the chances that a given one
affects accuracy small... there could be reasonable recourses.

-They have issues with off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware... 1) it is not
tamper-resistant (Alan mentioned plans for a cage) and 2) it doesn't
look good and isn't light or easily packaged (Amy and Karl mentioned
that they have experience (or contact with people who do) with
delivering solid products).

-Carrel finished with talking about a UCLA Election Research center or
something like that under UCLA law professor Dan Lowenstein. It would
provide election study & consulting services to CA jurisdictions (for
free) and other states (for a fee).

-When it came down to $$$, Carrel mentioned he's not sure if he could
give HAVA money to a non-profit (bidding process would be more likely)
but could likely to University. We would need a legal opinion on that
(and he said he'd look into that). He mentioned that they will be
budgeting the HAVA funds in the next three weeks...

-Finally, he mentioned that he needed something on paper. A
***detailed proposal*** for the life of the project including budget.
This would need to be delivered during the coming weeks while they
budget HAVA funds.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
UC Berkeley, SIMS PhD Student
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Received on Sat Jul 31 23:17:04 2004

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