Re: Alternatives to a single bar code

From: Edward Cherlin <edward_dot_cherlin_at_etssg_dot_com>
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 13:03:28 CDT

On Wednesday 05 May 2004 11:23, Alan Dechert wrote:
> > 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.

> Thanks, Jan.
> I've copied the text below.
> Expert Says E-Voting Is'Terrible'
> 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

We need to emphasize the fact that our ballot is the vote, not
the backup. This confusion muddles the discussion and makes it
harder to explain the rest of our aims.

> 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.

As important as that is, preventing overvoting completely and
greatly reducing undervoting and voting for the wrong candidate
are even bigger advantages, along with greater accuracy of
tallying votes cast.

> 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

There it is again.

> to technology they consider potentially
> faulty or vulnerable to attack.

Not just potentially.

> 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.

If the primary vote is electronic, a paper trail is nowhere near

> 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.

[partisan outburst suppressed]

> "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.

Hardly the responsibility of poll workers.

> "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.

Where are the experts, then?

> ---
> On the Net:
> U.S. Election Assistance Commission:

Edward Cherlin, Simputer Evangelist
Encore Technologies (S) Pte. Ltd.
New voices in the global conversation
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:22 2004

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