Re: A brief introduction and some questions. Follow up.

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 16:59:50 CDT

Hello Alan and Arthur:

     Thanks for the replies. I'm going to come out
and say that IMHO it will be easiest at first for the
system proposed to get licensed for some new, out of
the box computer. I'm glad to hear that there will be
sufficient resources for other deployment models.
Recent articles suggested that in the neighborhood of
11,000 computer would be needed to deploy EVM just in
San Diego County. However, as San Diego County and
the adjoining County of Imperial together have a
larger land mass than all of New England it may not be

    In addition, I recall that there was a concern
that if hard drives were completely erased, those
system owners who wanted their machines to ship with
Windows, might have to buy a second license for
Windows. Yes, I know that installing Linux on these
machines might be in the best interest of the buyer,
the customer should get what they want.

     Finally, I note that the FAQ discussed log files
but I do not see where it discusses the matter of
ballot images. The suggestions about real time
randomization are a clever solution that may solve
this problem and render the issue in the previous
paragraph moot. Therefore, at the end of the day, the
thumb drive (assuming it's big enough to do the job)
would write to the CD and then be erased? Or would
the thumb drive go along with the ballots and the now
closed CD to election central? I don't necessarily
expect these questions to be answered at this time,
but I would like to see them addressed eventually.

Many Thanks, Ed Kennedy

--- Alan Dechert <>
> Edward,
> > Thanks for your thoughts. It must be nice to
> > always know what you're talking about. ;-) I've
> come
> > to realize that using new commodity machines is a
> good
> > approach. Trying to make a ragtag bunch of
> oddball
> > machine of various, makes, models, vintages and
> quirks
> > work reliably and predictably sounds actually more
> > expensive than buying new identical machines. ...
> >
> Right. Except we're not going to base decisions on
> "sounds actually more
> like."
> All of this needs thorough investigation ...
> costs/benefits etc. A lot of
> the issues are not obvious.
> A few of the models discussed involve
> - leading edge, use once for voting
> - trailing edge, use once for voting
> - leading edge, warehoused systems used multiple
> times
> - trailing edge, warehoused systems used multiple
> times.
> > Also, each machine needs to be capable of burning
> > CD's which is not something of which many old PC's
> > would be capable. ....
> >
> If we go with trailing edge, typically these
> machines would be about 4 years
> old. Most any system built in 2000 can burn CDs.
> More than 2 million such
> PCs are retired each month -- more than the number
> needed in all the polling
> places in the US. Keep in mind that over time the
> situation gets better...
> i.e., trailing edge machines will be increasingly
> powerful over time with
> flat screen monitors.
> >. Hardware,
> > without a bulk discount, should cost in the
> > neighborhood of $500-600US/unit. This is assuming
> > that these machines run on line power and are not
> > laptops. This is just a rough first
> approximation.
> > It however beats the heck out Diebolds $3,000 each
> > DRE's.
> >
> Yes, OVC's system will be significantly less.
> However, no decisions have
> been made on the configuration. It's quite possible
> that several models
> will be workable. A county may already own all the
> PCs it needs and decide
> to use those and keep them for voting rather than
> sell them or give them
> away (they get very very little for a palet full of
> 4 yr-old PCs). Another
> county might decide to rent PCs from a local vendor
> that has thousands of
> PCs of the same make and model (one PC remarketer I
> spoke with last year
> said he was expecting to get 20,000 Dell Optiplex
> 500 Mhz--all the same
> model that would be pulled from a government office
> building). Another
> county might time their purchase of new machines
> such that the machines are
> set up for voting right after they come out of the
> box: after the election,
> they get configured for office use and never used
> for voting again.
> In other words, I think it's whatever works for
> people. We don't have to
> decided for them.
> > In the meantime, I would imagine images would
> > have to be written to the hard drive of the voting
> > machine. Is my understanding correct?
> >
> No. Please read the FAQ.
> The machines may or may not have a harddrive. We
> don't know yet. It's also
> possible that some will and some won't. The data
> will be stored in at least
> other media besides ram before it's written to CD at
> closing.
> > It can be
> > notoriously difficult to erase hard drives in such
> a
> > way that the information can't be recovered. I
> had
> > suggested that there needs to be an automatic
> erasure
> > routine built into the EVM program as part of the
> > process of closing down the machines. ....
> >
> The Australian system eVACS erases the HD on start
> up. I don't know if they
> erase on shut down.
> Obviously there are a lot of details TBD.
> Alan D.

10777 Bendigo Cove
San Diego, CA 92126-2510

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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:06 2004

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