From: Brendan LeFebvre <brendanl_at_iname_dot_com>
Date: Fri Nov 12 2004 - 13:56:10 CST

This calls attention to the problem, but shouldn't it mention the OVC's proposed solution? Plug the website at least?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Dechert" <>
To: <>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:28:37 -0800

> This is pretty rough right now. Please give me your input now... I want to
> finish this today.
> Alan D.
> Four years after America learned its voting system was broken, we still do
> not have a system that can reliably determine the winner in an extremely
> close contest. This time, a larger margin masked the flaws.
> "We don't know how many votes were lost due to mismanagement or fraud, but
> it appears that George Bush got enough votes to overcome the slop in the
> voting system," says Alan Dechert, President of the Open Voting Consortium.
> In one case alone, some 4,500 votes were lost from a single electronic
> voting machine in North Carolina. "Paperless voting is a disaster waiting
> to happen. If that had happened in a swing state anywhere near as close as
> Florida in 2000, we'd be right back in the Supreme Court to find out who
> won. We must not count on being so lucky in the future, praying for
> elections that aren't so close. We must have a voting system where every
> vote is counted and where the count can be clearly verified."
> Long lines, registration problems, and a multitude of other problems meant
> that countless voters were disenfranchised. Decision makers at all levels
> simply failed to correct voting system faults these past four years.
> "Democracy cannot afford to see them botch the job again," says Dechert.
> "There is a growing consensus that electronic voting will work if we take
> proper security measures including a voter verified paper record of the
> vote, and software that is open to scrutiny. Besides the pollsite voting
> machines, there are many other faults in the voting system that need
> immediate attention. We need to begin now on a comprehensive effort to
> de-privatize, open up, and clean up the voting system so that we are not in
> a similar situation next time."
> Typically, election officials are unqualified to evaluate new voting
> technology. In a 60 Minutes program last month, Conny McCormack, Registrar
> of Voters for Los Angeles County, said "Voters love them," in reference to
> paperless touchscreen voting machines. Voters may or may not love them --
> surveys show that some voters love them while others are rightfully
> distrustful. In any case, the machines need closer scrutiny. "Would they
> ask questions about the safety of a medical procedure of patients or of
> doctors?" asked Professor Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins in a recent
> Computerworld interview. "They should ask computer security experts about
> computer security questions, not end users, who may like the look and feel
> of the machines but have no way of knowing if they are really secure."
> Dr. Rubin, who also appeared on the same 60 Minutes program, has advocated
> the use of electronic voting machines that also produce a voter verifiable
> paper record of the vote.
> Ms. McCormack dismissed the threat of vote tampering with paperless systems.
> She feels it would be too obvious for a voter to tamper with a system in the
> voting booth. This misses the real threat of a malicious insider rigging
> the machines. Slot machines -- which undergo more testing and scrutiny than
> voting machines -- have been rigged from time to time. In one famous case,
> an employee of the Gaming Control Board in the Electronic Services Division
> in Las Vegas rigged machines without touching them. The cheating program
> was installed by unwitting employees using a rigged testing device. The
> scam was only discovered years later when the perpetrator became greedy and
> sloppy.
> "With so much at stake in elections, the malicious insider threat is very
> high," says Dechert. "Ms. McCormack says, 'there is no evidence,' but we
> may not see any evidence until long after Election Day. What contingency
> plans do election officials have should it be discovered later that an
> election was rigged?"
> The Open Voting Consortium is a Nonprofit California Corporation dedicated
> to the development, maintenance, and delivery of open voting systems for use
> in public elections.
> ###
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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:29 2004

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