RE: MORE Questions from election officials

From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) <"Popkin,>
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 20:37:50 CDT

Shamos says "It is important to realize what is supposed to be accomplished
in an audit of a voting machine or election. Ideally, one ought to be able
to reconstruct the ballots in their entirety, verify that no unusual or
unauthorized events took place during voting or tabulation, and review the
correctness of the vote totals. To imagine that there is any realistic
mechanism to accomplish this is to indulge in fantasy. Let me be very clear
on this point - no existing voting system is auditable. Furthermore, I have
never seen a design for an auditable system, and doubt that any jurisdiction
could afford one if it existed."

When I read that, it sounds like complete gibberish, as it's fairly obvious
that a voter verified paper trail can be audited, recounted, etc. Is there
some other meaning of the word "audit" that he's referring to? And if so, is
there any advantage to his definition over what most people mean by

It would be useful if someone could dig into this paper and disect it --
it's popping up as a reference point for anti-VVPT folks in discussions I'm
in, and it'd be very useful to have a more formal analysis than "he's

Any takers?

- LP

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of charlie
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 9:13 PM
Subject: [voting-project] MORE Questions from election officials

Hello again,
It turns out that while I was speaking with Denise Lamb (director NASED)
this moring, a freind was coinidentally delivering the Mythbreaker's
document to Rebecca Vigil-Heron in the same office. She is the President
Elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State, and SOS of New
Mexico. She is vehemently opposed to paper trails. Unfortunately, I dont
beleive she has plans to read it. (Coinidentally She's off to euorpe
tommorow to propote paperless systems there -- good timing regarding the
Irish report!).

Anyhow she handed over the following april 2004 Paper from Carnegie Melon as
her main scholarly point of reference on the issue.

by Micheal Ian Shamos, School of computer Sci.

who also wrote:

I put these forth for your discussion. If you want to say it's a bunch of
bog trot and ill posed analogies I'm fine with that, but the more specific
you are the better I will actually be able to make use of your opinions.


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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:07 2004

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