Re: Shamos Rebuttal, Draft 2

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Wed May 04 2005 - 10:27:06 CDT

More comments:

1. I think that Ron's paper should applaud the
concept that open source is useful.

"On the other hand, there is no reason that the
ballot setup, display, tabulation and reporting
sections of voting system code should be kept
secret, and manufacturers would be wise to accede
to public demand in this regard." (Section 3.2)

However, I think we should urge the amount of
secret software to be as small as possible. And
also point out that Linux has not suffered from
being completely open. Cite:

Point out hiding a key in voting systems is a bad
idea. Right now, only the vendor knows where the
hidden key is. With open source, everyone can be
aware that there is a hidden key. That awareness
will lead to vendors avoiding leaving hidden keys.

2. I think we should acknowledge that parallel
real-time testing during elections *is* a good
idea. However, it does not eliminate problems
with the tabulation systems, such as Diebold's
GEMS. (Section 3.5)

It also doesn't eliminate the potential that
field operatives enable the malware through a
particular obscure sequence of voting steps or
through hidden buttons. Cite: Clint Curtis and

3. We'd like to see the suggestion for Objection 2 happen.

But most important, the only of his suggestions
that have been put into place is parallel
testing. All other techniques suggested have not
been put into effect. (Is that true?)

4. Another point to make is that the software is
unlikely to remain static for years. It will
likely be updated at least once each Presidential
election. This is a point to make re 3.5,
footnote 35.

Best regards,

At 10:15 PM -0700 5/3/05, Ron Crane wrote:
>Here it is. While reviewing some of Shamos's
>citations, I found something I believe to be
>rather un-kosher. Those of you with academic
>backgrounds should especially read the end of my
>section 4.6, beginning at "Finally, and most
>In any case, please comment. I'd like to roll
>the final version on or before next Monday.
>P.S. I am sorry about the MS word format, but
>Word doesn't include the endnotes when I save in
>RTF format.
>Attachment converted: ARK G4 Powerbook
>HD:shamos-rebuttal.doc (WDBN/«IC») (001CE623)
>OVC discuss mailing lists
>Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
OVC discuss mailing lists
Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external 
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain    
Received on Tue May 31 23:17:17 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue May 31 2005 - 23:17:52 CDT