Re: Fw: Request time for public comment

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Tue Jul 26 2005 - 15:41:22 CDT

Alan Dechert wrote:

> Ron,
>
> I won't tell them I'm dyslexic.
>
> 1) I will say they should encourage and accommodate -- if not require
> -- public software and OpenTest.
>
> 2) Real security will be achieved by procedures surrounding the use of
> technology -- not from the technology itself. The VVSG seems
> oblivious to that.
>
> 3) They should not preclude multi-use equipment for elections.
>
> 4) Electronic Ballot Printer (EBP) has advantages over sealed path
> vote-on-a-cash-register-tape system. VVSG should
> encourage/accommodate EBP design.
>
> 5) I'll warn about FedGov assigning itself more power than necessary.
>
> I will draft something today that I can read in 3 minutes.
>
> Alan D.

There are two underlying problems with the VVSG.

First, they do not address the possibility of vendor fraud. They
implicitly trust vendors to be good-hearted. This trust is unjustified.
We are talking about the ability, by tweaking some code, to radically
change America's course. Americans spent billions of dollars on
campaigning in the 2004 federal elections. You think someone might want
to influence the outcome illegitimately? The motive, means, and
opportunity are there. Will the crime follow? You bet it will, unless we
stop it. And we can stop it only by taking steps at least as stringent
as Nevada uses to stop cheating with e-gambling machines. Their Gaming
Control Board has authority to impound and analyze any e-gambling
machine from any casino at any time. They can (and do) rip these
machines to shreds to determine whether they contain cheating code. If
we value our votes as much as our chips, we must mandate a similar
procedure for voting machines.

Second, the VVSG do not value transparency. They treat the entire
exercise as a technical one, and assume that voters will have confidence
in the outcome because EAC's "experts" have drafted the voluminous VVSG
requirements. But voters won't and shouldn't have confidence in such a
regime, particularly when it enshrines secret source, secret tests, and
secret vote tallying with DREs. In Vegas, you put your money in a slot
machine, pull the lever, and get a chance at winning something. With a
DRE, you punch in your selections, press "cast ballot", and get a chance
at getting your votes counted. This is not acceptable. Voters must be
able directly to verify the official records of their votes, and those
records must be available for meaningful random recounts. DREs do not
create directly-verifiable records, and the records they produce cannot
meaningfully be recounted.

-R

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Received on Sun Jul 31 23:17:20 2005

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