Re: Alternatives to a single bar code

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Wed May 05 2004 - 13:23:40 CDT

> On Wed, 5 May 2004, Alan Dechert wrote:
>
> > The likes of Kevin Shelley and Conny McCormack are sitting on a panel at
> > this very moment. It would have been nice to be there. However, Doug
Jones
> > did write up something for them that I'm sure was good for open voting.
I
> > want to know what Avi Rubin had to say.
> >
>
> "On a spectrum of terrible to very good, we are sitting at terrible,"
> Aviel D. Rubin, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins
> University, told the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. "Not only
> have the vendors not implemented security safeguards that are
> possible, they have not even correctly implemented the ones that are
> easy."
>
>
http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/ELECTRONIC_VOTING?SITE=APWEB&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
>
Thanks, Jan.

I've copied the text below.

Expert Says E-Voting Is'Terrible'

By HOPE YEN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A computer science expert criticized electronic voting
systems planned for the November election as highly vulnerable and flawed,
saying on Wednesday a backup paper system is the only short-term solution to
avoid another disputed presidential election.

"On a spectrum of terrible to very good, we are sitting at terrible," Aviel
D. Rubin, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University, told the
U.S. Election Assistance Commission. "Not only have the vendors not
implemented security safeguards that are possible, they have not even
correctly implemented the ones that are easy."

Other experts said electronic voting offers advantages over paper balloting,
including increasing access to the blind and people who do not speak
English. They contended that backing up electronic systems with paper
ballots could be costly.

"We want systems that are secure but also accessible to people with
disabilities," said Stephen Berger, an expert at TEM Consulting, an
engineering services consulting firm.

The first public hearing by the commission came as many states consider
legislation to require a paper record of every vote cast as a backup to
technology they consider potentially faulty or vulnerable to attack.

About 50 million Americans this fall are expected to use the ATM-like voting
machines, which states rushed to get to replace paper ballots after
Florida's hanging-chad fiasco in 2000. Critics say the touchscreen machines
can't be trusted because they don't leave a paper trail.

Phil Singer, a spokesman for the presidential campaign of Democrat John
Kerry, said Wednesday, "After what happened in Florida in 2000, making sure
that there is a reliable paper trail in place to account for every vote is
just common sense."

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told reporters no printers for making receipts have
been manufactured for the electronic voting machines in his state, but he
suggested he is not concerned about using the machines in November.

"I'm afraid a lot of the concerns about this are really to try to create a
cloud of controversy during the election to motivate people to vote and
there's got to be a better way to do that," Bush said. "You can talk about
issues and ideas, maybe, instead of scaring people."

To help prevent mishaps, the four-member bipartisan panel is expected to
issue recommendations to state and local officials, such as urging poll
workers to keep a stack of paper ballots available in case electronic
machines fail to operate.

"We cannot afford to have a replay of 2000, when voting systems failed to
properly record voters' intent ... and when millions of Americans questioned
the outcome and legitimacy of the presidential election," said Kay Maxwell,
president of the League of Women Voters, who was to testify Wednesday.
"Specific security measures are needed."

Machines in more than half the precincts in California's San Diego County
malfunctioned during the March 2 presidential primary, and a lack of paper
ballots may have disenfranchised hundreds of voters.

Congress created the commission under the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which
began distributing $3.9 billion to states to upgrade voting systems after
the disputed 2000 election. The panel is charged with ensuring the voting
process is sound, although it lacks the power to enforce any standards it
sets.

The commission has said it is woefully underfunded, with only $1.2 million
of its $10 million budget appropriated, prompting the commission to caution
it might not have the resources to immediately forestall widespread voting
problems.

Republican chairman DeForest B. Soaries Jr., a former New Jersey secretary
of state named by President Bush in December to the commission, has said the
panel will need $2 million more this year and the full $10 million in 2005
to fulfill its mission of restoring public faith in electronic voting.

Executives from Diebold Inc., Hart Intercivic Inc., Election Systems &
Software Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. will speak Wednesday, along
with California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley.

---
On the Net:
U.S. Election Assistance Commission: http://www.eac.gov
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:16 2004

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