RE: GO for March Demo

From: Arnold Urken <aurken_at_stevens_dot_edu>
Date: Fri Mar 05 2004 - 10:58:50 CST

Arthur, as part of a demo, your idea is good. But cost, alone, without
knowing what you get for the money, is only part of the story. We should
show that you pay a lot and get something that is not at all adequate.
Perhaps we should get someone like George Foreman to say "I am not going
to pay any of my taxes for this stuff"!


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Arthur
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2004 11:47 AM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] GO for March Demo

Reading this gave me an idea. How about if we create a non-working
mockup of a DRE with a label $4000 government voting machine (covered
with gold looking foil: "gold plated"). Next to it is a toilet seat
labelled $1000 government toilet seat (or whatever they used to cost
years ago under military contracting). Next to it is a hammer
labelled $500 hammer (we need to get the exact amounts from old
newspaper articles). Next to that is our voting machine, with a
sheet showing what everything in that PC cost us (and I suggest we
actually buy one used one and a new monitor and show the receipts).

Best regards.

At 1:14 PM +0000 3/5/04, wrote:
>While I like the idea of an obviously altered mock election of some
>American icons versus some universally accepted nasties, I also see
>a down side. Would people react adversely toward us because we
>wrote cheating code or altered the database rather than focus on our
>Having participated in Denton County Texas' evaluation of proposed
>new voting equipment and observing the sales tactics, I'm afraid
>they would show election officials our demo and seize any
>differences in the systems as a way to say we have security flaws in
>our systems that they don't have in theirs. You should have heard
>the misleading statements I heard from some of these vendor people.
>If anybody can twist things out of shape, they can.
>Perhaps just focus on the Florida election where 134 votes were lost
>and keep hitting them with the question "Don't those folks wish they
>had some paper ballots to recount?".
>> On Friday 05 March 2004 03:29 am, Jan Karrman wrote:
>> > On Thu, 4 Mar 2004, Alan Dechert wrote:
>> > > Originally, when I thought of doing the demo, I wanted to set up
>> > > (or some mock up of one) and smash it with a sledge hammer on
>> > > Arthur doesn't seem to think that's such a great idea. However,
I think
>> > > we need some stunt other than just showing the system and
explaining how
>> > > it works. There has to be some excuse for the TV cameras. If
you have
>> > > some ideas on that, let's have them!
>> >
>> > There is a program on Swedish television where a guy evaluates
>> > products and services. Typically they are bad or dangerous
>> > The program always ends with him throwing one of the checked items
>> > a large trash bin. A bit less drastic perhaps.
>> >
>> > /Jan
>> I think throwing away a 'computer' is a bad idea. The general public
>> confuse the vendor cruft with our demo.
>> I propose that we demonstrate how easy it is to steal a vote with a
>> computerized system that has no voter-verified paper trail. It
shouldn't be
>> too hard to fork the demo software and create a version that
*appears* to
>> correctly count the vote, but obviously lies when the tallies are
>> Example:
>> Have the reporters take turns voting for either 'Cats' or 'Dogs'. We
>> even have the machine display a running tally at the start that
shows a 0
>> vote count for each choice (just like the Diebold machines).
Challenge the
>> reporters to keep their own running tally. When it is time to show
the final
>> vote, it should be close to reality but the Dogs should always win.
>> It would be good to distill all of Diebold's confidence building
>>tricks out of
>> Avi's recent account, and emulate them in this 'bogus-demo':
>> Nathan

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:01 2004

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