Re: Text of count every vote act.

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Fri Mar 04 2005 - 23:32:47 CST

Joseph Lorenzo Hall wrote:
> On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 19:37:52 -0800, Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx@yahoo.com>
> 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.

Then that would be a case of a hidden defect and yes, if the vendor balks on
fixing the defect then a lemon law approach might be appropriate.

>
> 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.

Then the purchase specifications have to say that the product must meet the
specifications in force at the time of sale. Just as I, a civil engineer,
can't be held responsible for specifications that change after I've
completed and sealed my plans I don't see how a vendor can be held
responsible for changed specifications. Now if I had good reason to know
that the specifications were about to change, I might discuss this with my
client. If the changes were trivial I might even design to the new
specifications but there is nothing that compels me to go back and change my
design or product if it meets the specifications that were in force at the
time I put my seal on my plans or delivered the product. You would seem to
be assuming some sort of omniscience to mere mortals.

As a civil engineer, I would never specify that someone use CMP (Courraged
metal pipe) in southern California because it gets eaten up by the corrosive
soil here. If I did, I'd be laying myself liable for at least some of the
costs associated with relining or even replacing that pipe. We've had
entire 6 lane roadways collapse because steel pipe vendors told us there
product would last a lot longer than it did. With that said, if someone
today attempts to sell a voting machine product that doesn't incorporate
most, if not all, of the design specifications and standards that OVC is
discussing then I would consider them negligent and would further feel that
they are attempting to sell a defective product.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

>
>> 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.
>
> Joe

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Received on Thu Mar 31 23:17:05 2005

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