Re: Shamos Rebuttal, Draft 3

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_at_uscountvotes_dot_org>
Date: Thu May 05 2005 - 18:45:34 CDT

Ron Crane wrote:

> This draft incorporates comments by Arthur, David, and a well-known
> OVC contributor who wishes to remain anonymous. It also includes some
> revisions of my own. Revision bars are from draft 2, but exclude
> purely textual changes like the placements of quotes and reference
> marks. Please comment. My next draft will include full formal
> citations for all the hyperlinks (talk about drudgery!)

Ron,

I'm sorry but there is too much in your Shamos rebuttal that I find
over-stated or overly wordy or that I disagree with, and I do not have
time to rewrite it. I began trying to rewrite a little (but still not
to my satisfaction) and have attached the edited copy, but have to give
up as I've got too much else to do. I promised to help begin writing our
Liddle/Blumenthal rebuttal and it will take me a few days of studying
before I can even begin and we have to get it ready by the AAPOR conference.

I do not agree with your statements about voters being able to 'verify'
that their votes were counted correctly. Voters, at best, can verify
that their paper record of their vote is correct, not that their votes
are counted correctly. The nature of secret ballots makes verifying
that the votes are electronically counted correctly as voters vote
impossible.

I think that you put the burden too much on the voting machine vendor
and do not emphasize nearly enough the need for election offcials to
perform routine independent audits of the paper ballots to prevent vote
embezzlement by insiders. IMO, decades of Not independently auditing
electronic vote counts when 95%+ of our vote counts are electronic, has
led to ubiquitous embezzlement of votes in numerous ways, and the only
way to clean up American elections, is to not just implement voting
systems that are independently auditable, but to actually require
routine indendent audits of vote counts.

The main problem with Shamos, IMO, is that he wants to have electronic
voting systems that either provide no method of independently (from the
voting machine vendor) auditing vote counts, or make it so difficult and
expensive to independently audit vote counts, that no one will ever
audit, and so that will continue to give free reign to insiders to
embezzle votes - so the problem will continue ad infinitum. This point
does not seem to be mentioned anywhere in your paper in any direct way.

That said, I appreciate your efforts very much, and wish you well in
it. It is a good goal.

Best,

Kathy

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:21 2005

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