Re: Text of count every vote act.

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Mar 02 2005 - 20:14:10 CST

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 19:37:52 -0800, Ed Kennedy <> wrote:
> Cute.

I'm quite serious. Let's have a dialogue, Ed...

> Seriously though, if a product met the buyer's specifications when
> purchased and was in compliance with laws in force at the time of purchase,
> it would be unreasonable to expect it to meet new specifications or changed
> laws especially beyond the typical life of the product.

This is ridiculous when you consider the spectre of computers, their
software and networking used in federal elections (as we do routinely
here) and that it frequently if not always is the case that
vulnerabilities or flaws are found in software, hardware and
procedural mechanisms after the purchase.

Case in point, the Danaher ELECTronic 1242 (a/k/a/ the Shouptronic)
does not use data integrity checks when transmitting data. This is
because it is and was qualified against the 1990 standards which don't
require such checks during the transmission of data (the 2002
standards do). This resulted in the infamous case in Ohio where a
Danaher machine added some thousands of votes for one presidential
candidate during transmission.

There is every indication that Danaher will continue to sell these
machines and they appear to have no plans for requalifying against the
2002 standards (and they arguably couldn't make this with their
current configuration). Most of the above applies to the Sequoia AVC
Advantage as well.

> One would have to
> argue that the vendor should have known, reasonably anticipated (say based
> on their knowledge gained from the design of the product) or even concealed
> from the buyer changes in specifications or laws that might occur over the
> life of the product. While the argument is not impossible, I imagine you'd
> agree that it would be difficult.

I think we're miscommunicating. Standards have to be evolving bodies
of rules and code. Right now, as is reflected in all the academic
literature surrounding e-voting standards, we are in a bad state where
they are only updated once per decade, at best. As we know, computers
and such move at a much higher rate of growth. We need to be able to
solve the problem of limited funding and jurisdictions wanting to
purchase a technology that will work for decades with the need for
evolving standards for the same machines, no?

Sorry I can't type longer... many more things to do.


Joseph Lorenzo Hall
UC Berkeley, SIMS PhD Student
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Received on Thu Mar 31 23:17:05 2005

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