OVC site, Mercuri

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri Nov 21 2003 - 10:43:20 CST

Hi Folks,

I saw Rebecca Mercuri speak last night, not too far from where I live
(she spoke at Williams College, I live a bit over an hour away). After
the talk, I spoke with her personally about the EVM2003/OCVC effort; and
today I followed up with email.

As many of you know, Dr. Mercuri has been getting a lot of press lately
(national radio interviews, etc), and it would be good to get her
more-or-less on board with our effort. Free publicity, if nothing else.
For those who do not know, Mercuri has a bunch of ideas that are
basically in line with what EVM2003 is doing, with just minor variants
(paper trail, publicly auditable source code, blind-accessibility). In
any case, she is not opposed to specific issues in EVM2003 like the
GPL-ish license (even if she does not necessarily see that as a
requirement for good voting systems).

Part of what Dr. Mercuri presented was a too-clever-by-half encryption/
security scheme advanced by David Chaum. Chaum, of course, is an
enormously smart guy; but in my mind, the possibility of an average
voter -understanding- what makes up a ballot is a firm requirement.
Mercuri joked that having only one Ph.D. wasn't enough to understand
Chaum's system, you'd probably need several. For me, that can't fly for
real voting systems--even though I'm certain Chaum's math is wonderful
(FWIW, the idea in it is that voters could verify that their vote was
counted--say on the internet--without disclosing -what- that vote
actually was; similar to a "shared-secret" crytographic system). Of
course, I have advocated my own much simpler cryptographic scheme in
these discussions... but that's something to return to -after- the demo.

I also wanted to mention two related things. I had not looked at Alan
and Matteo's OVC site recently. It really is shaping up into a very
nice URL, far more useful for general readers than is
evm2003.sourceforge.net (partially because of my shortcomings in
updating the latter, but largely because of a bit different focus).

And this good quality is fortunate, because www.openvotingconsortium.org
just got linked to on the front page of slashdot.org today.
Alan/Matteo/whoever, be ready for a *BIG* traffic spike today. It's
great to get the awareness out... I hope you have a solid web host!

Yours, David...
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:05 2003

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