Re: Printers Revisited

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sun May 23 2004 - 23:27:59 CDT

At 4:47 PM -0700 5/23/04, Alan Dechert wrote:
>Here's another model
>One vendor for each voting booth
>This is an idea I brought up to the Sacramento County registrars office in a
>meeting on Feb 13, 2001. It was hugely unpopular. Nonetheless, I still
>think it is worth investigating. Suppose the county (of one million
>residents) needs 7,000 PCs and printers for the voting application. The
>county would manage a process where 8,000 citizens--known respected
>individuals, "pillars of the community"--would become election vendors.
>They would sign a contract to deliver a PC and printer that would meet all
>these specifications and according to schedule. The county would sign up
>enough extras so that they could be assured an adequate supply in case
>someone had to go out of town suddenly...whatever. The county would pay a
>nominal amount to rent the system (say $25). The vendor-citizen might be
>allowed to have his or her name visible on the monitor case.. say something
>like "Tony Ramirez of La Fiesta Restaurant, Sacramento." This tells people
>that Tony Ramirez is a good guy and supports truth, justice, democracy and
>the American Way. The citizen-vendor benefits by looking good, gets maybe
>some free advertising, and a small stipend. The cost to the citizen-vendor
>is small because they are just bringing one of their PCs to the local
>polling place. The county benefits because they get a computerized voting
>machine for a very low cost. Administration of the vendor-citizen database
>could be automated to a large degree use the web and email. The
>vendor-citizen would have to respond to queries from time to time so that
>the administrator would know that the vendor-citizen will deliver as
>advertised. The county contract with the citizen-vendor would require the
>citizen-vendor to certify that the hardware is strictly COTS. The contract
>would spell out stiff penalties for any funny business with the hardware.
>The vendor-citizen would put a tamper seal on the PC that s/he could remove
>after the election. This model may also be attractive due to increased
>community involvement in the democratic process.

Sure, and someone can get 8,000 citizens with PC's labelled George W.
Bush for President....

This seems like a nightmare for certification.

Best regards,

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 23:17:59 2004

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