Re: [NoElectronicBallots] Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia sued for infringing on Avante's VVPAT and optical scan patents

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Thu Jul 13 2006 - 18:19:51 CDT

Jim March wrote:
> ...While I haven't seen the details of Avante's patent, I have seen the
> device and paper output. It is genuinely worlds ahead of the "double
> toilet paper roll" system first used by Sequoia and now copied by
> Diebold's TSx with add-on "VVPAT".
>
> In brief, Avante's system is a DRE that prints a paper trail to a small
> printer with paper coming off of a roll. Voters get to "look but not
> touch" and confirm the accuracy of the paper before doing the final vote
> cast. Sounds similar to the others, but here's how theirs is better:
> ...
> I strongly suspect that Avante has more ethics than Diebold, ES&S,
> Sequoia or Hart. Combined. :) This lawsuit will confirm whether or
> not I'm right.
>
> That said: I cannot endorse them at this time because they're only
> "certified" by the same ITA lunatics who did the rest of the machines.
> I strongly recommend Avante consider opening up their source code to
> public review.
>
This system, like all other DREs, is amenable to effective supervision
only by computer security experts, and then only if they are given
access far beyond the usual. The vast majority of the public cannot
supervise this system at all, and must delegate its supervision -- a
core obligation of citizenship -- to the experts. This is the same
formula that led us into our current trouble. Also, Avante can (and
eventually will) be bought by another corporation, and its officers and
staff eventually will be exchanged for others. Human nature guarantees
that some successors will possess ethics far worse than those you have
said the current officers and staff possess.

As a very wise (though fictional) person said of a grave threat to his
world: "We should seek a final end of this menace, even if we do not
hope to make one."

-R

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Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:04 2006

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