Re: PRESS RELEASE DRAFT

From: <kglerum_at_midwinter_dot_com>
Date: Tue Nov 23 2004 - 15:25:31 CST

Alan,

I got your message yesterday. I haven't any good news to report on getting
through to MoveOn. More later after work.

Cheers,

Katrina

Quoting Alan Dechert <dechert@gmail.com>:

> Please let me know what you think. I hope I have adequately
> considered your comments.
>
> ********
> ELECTION CRISIS AVOIDED?
>
> Four years after America suffered through a broken election process,
> we still do not have reliable systems to find the winner in a close
> contest. Luckily we didn't have to watch as precinct after precinct
> failed to be able to recount without a paper trail, or have to add up
> the critical hours inexplicably lost in the audit logs.
>
> 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," says Alan Dechert, President of the Open Voting
> Consortium. "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 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 discouraged from voting. For the
> tens of millions of votes cast on paperless systems, we have no
> meaningful way to audit the count.
>
> Despite having four years and more election failures, decision-makers
> at all levels simply failed to fix obvious flaws in the voting system.
> "Democracy cannot afford to see them botch the job again," says
> Dechert. "While the growing consensus is that electronic voting will
> work, we need to use proper security measures including a voter
> verified paper record of the vote, and software that is open to
> scrutiny. We need to begin now on a comprehensive effort to open up,
> and clean up the voting system so that we are not left with unanswered
> questions next time."
>
> Computer security and reliability is a complex and ever shifting area,
> we shouldn't presume that election officials can fully test all
> aspects of new voting technology. For example 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.
>
> "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 undergo more
> testing and scrutiny than our voting machines -- and they have been
> corrupted, in a famous case, an employee of the Gaming Control Board
> in the Electronic Services Division in Las Vegas rigged machines
> without even touching them. The cheating virus was installed by
> unwitting employees using an infected testing device. The scam was
> only discovered years later when the cheater 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. I'd
> rather not find out what we as a nation do when we discover years
> later that an election was stolen."
>
> "As interest in the Open Voting Consortium's approach is rapidly
> growing, we are more confident than ever that our project will
> succeed," said Dechert.
>
> 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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>

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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:39 2004

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