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

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Tue May 04 2004 - 19:37:32 CDT

Ed, I've been enamored with the idea of getting used equipment to use
for voting as well. And having other agencies use the equipment in
between voting use or after voting use. Two questions arise: First
there is the tampering question. What is students upload bad
firmware that changes votes or simply makes the systems unreliable,
for example? It's enough to make the systems unreliable in counties
that swing democratic or republican, for example, to sway the outcome
of an election. Second there is the certification question. Since
the certification is done on the complete package, software and
hardware, having many hardware configurations makes getting through
the certification process a nightmare.

The point raised earlier about an upgrade to Windows affecting the
secrecy of votes is an illustration of why the entire configuration
needs to be certified, and not try to rely on a COTS substitution
loophole (even if one were to exist).

Best regards,

At 5:24 PM -0700 5/4/04, Ed Kennedy wrote:
>Hello Alan:
> I can think of many classrooms that would love to have nearly new
>computers or printers. Why local agencies are selling recent vintage
>computing equipment for scrap value when class rooms I've been in are still
>using Mac II-e's is a mystery to me. As for the equipment storage issue,
>how is that handled in places where the counties already have electronic
>voting machines or any other type of voting machines? If we don't know now,
>let's start exploring the range of possibilities in a little more detail.
>Thanks, Ed Kennedy
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Alan Dechert" <>
>To: <>
>Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 3:22 PM
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] A brief introduction and some questions.
>Follow up.
>> > 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. ...
>> >
>> You might be right. If we have to do it that way, then we will. But we
>> don't know if we'll have to do it that way.
>> Consider the printer, for the moment:
>> We bought an HP LaserJet 1300 for the demo ($350 .. then I just noticed a
>> $50 rebate). If this printer was purchased new and dedicated for
>> as a ballot printer, it might only print about 100 ballots per year.
>> ten years, it will have printed about 1,000 pages. The duty cycle for
>> printer is suggested at 10,000 pages per month. Similarly, a high powered
>> new PC dedicated to be in a voting booth (and stored for the rest of the
>> time) is a very poor match of resources to tasks.
>> If the new systems will be used once for voting then deployed elsewhere,
>> might make sense to do it that way. But there are logistical issues
>> involved. Does Sacramento county have a use for 7,000 HP LaserJet 1300s
>> after Election Day? Do they want to store 7,000 HP LaserJet 1300s after
>> Election Day until the next Election Day? We don't know right now and we
>> won't know until we get to those specific questions.
>> Alan D.

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 Mon May 31 23:17:13 2004

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