Re: Bev Harris Trashed OVC at the Houston Election Hearing

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_at_uscountvotes_dot_org>
Date: Fri Jul 01 2005 - 16:55:40 CDT

Jim March wrote:

> Sigh. OK, obviously, I'm kinda "caught in the middle here".
> According to Bev, she didn't "trash" OVC so much as raise a few
> concerns.

I will let this list know as soon as a video tape becomes available, so
you can see for yourself.

> Now...I wasn't there, and I don't know what was said. BUT I do know
> this: Bev Harris and Kathleen Wynne are both VERY well aware of the
> current paper trail capabilities of the Sequoia and Diebold "toilet
> paper roll" audit trail systems. If Kathy is saying they don't know,
> then there was a miscommunication somewhere. Bigtime.

You weren't there and I am reporting the conversation accurately.

I do, however, agree with everything that Alan Dechert said and agree
Bev continues to do a huge service to make folks more aware of the flaws
of voting systems and we need to thank her for that.

However, she has followers who dote on Bev's every word and I forgot to
mention that Bev also thrashed U.S. computer scientists in general for
not helping to study and uncover Diebold's flaws, and she neglected to
mention that they would not be able to study Diebold's flaws without
risking legal suits or without ending their own careers as voting system

Everything Bev says is deliberately designed to turn people off to
consulting with the very voting system experts and computer scientists
who they need to consult with the most and who understand more than Bev
does, how to fix the problems so that we do ensure our votes are
accurately counted.

I'm only asking that you try to reason with her again. Thank you.

I only wish that Bev understood her own limitations and would allow the
experts, such as the folks at OVC, to proscribe the solutions, and stop
publicly attacking other election activists who understand the solutions
to better voting systems a lot better than she does.

Bev's a great speaker, and has done a lot of wonderful positive things,
but is being very destructive to the movement to ensure accurate vote
counts by demanding a return to all hand-counted paper ONLY and trashing
(wait until you hear and see what she said) the OVC and other election
activists who are trying their best in their own way, and in many ways
that are pushing solutions that are more logical and do-able than what
Bev is pushing.

> But let's say we get a "roll scanner" of some sort. Arright. Now you
> have to have the software find the "spoiled alert" on the paper and go
> back and trash the last one. Remember, not all "votes" on the roll
> are valid! It CAN be done with software but B'Gawd what a pain and
> God help you if you miss a "spoil alert".

I've seen the actual ES&S open source system for scanning and counting
their paper rolls in action. Note: I still favor the AutoMARK or Accupol
systems, but the ES&S DRE paper roll counting system would catch all the
"spoiled alerts" as you phrase it when subtractions of votes are needed,
in fact, just as easily, the exact same way, as it catches the votes
themselves. So missing either would be as likely.

I agree with Bev that ballots should be "hand countable", not require
this complex computer system to count them.

> The second issue at a minimum concerns Diebold's variant: when you do
> "curbside voting for the disabled" the paper roll can NOT go with the
> system and doesn't paper-record those votes. Once you have that
> disconnect between the paper and electronic records you've got bupkis
> as far as auditability goes.

I agree completely.

> I don't know if the Sequoia box is similar.

I don't either.

> Now let's make one more point clear: we (meaning BlackBoxVoting) are
> at this point convinced that deliberate fraud is taking place,
> engineered by at least some of the major vendors. Folks, once we
> establish that rock-solid, to the point where people end up in jail
> (and we're closing in on that!) then yes, the idea of allowing these
> vendors to infiltrate OVC is horrifying. Even to me. And once fraud
> is proven, then...guess what? Bev's "paper only" stance doesn't look
> anywhere near as radical as Kathy is making out.

It isn't merely "radical" (not a word that I used to describe it), it is
a LOSING strategy. It is guaranteed to make 99.9% of all election
officials ignore and discount anything you say after or before that.
(Ask a few if you don't believe me.)

Bev's prescription is also not the best strategy if one wants to prevent
embezzling votes, as every member of OVC knows and we know from all the
research being done now by folks in places like AZ where paper ballots
are being substituted in as much as 13% of the ballots cast in some

Best Regards,

Kathy Dopp
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Received on Sun Jul 31 23:17:10 2005

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