Re: Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

From: Jim March <1_dot_jim_dot_march_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 01:38:12 CDT

On Nov 2, 2007 10:44 PM, David Jefferson <d_jefferson@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> David Jefferson wrote,
>
> Whether Ms. Tobi is familiar with what goes on in the behind-the-scenes
> arena or not is irrelevant. There is absolutely no support for her
> outrageous statements even in the public arena. There is no
>
> "elitist movement among technologists to yank our elections out
> of the populist muck",
>
> and there are absolutely no public statements by technologists
> that support that idea. Ms. Tobi, or someone, just made that up.
>
> Likewise, there do not exist any
>
> "self appointed experts ... [who] ... are drowning in their own self
> created illusion that a high tech, complexified, opaque, and
> expertified election system can meet the standards for a free
> and open democracy".
>
> Who the hell is she talking about?

For God's sake David, exhibit "A" is David Dill.

For exhibit "B"...oh, here's a good one.

I'm right this moment in Pima County AZ (basically Tucson). The Pima
County Democratic Party is fighting a public records battle to get the
raw GEMS databases for past elections - the MDB/GBF files. We want to
take them apart and see if there's been any mid-stream trickery.

Note that this county has already:

* Shut down all phone connections to their TSx systems - in other
words, pulled MS-RAS off the central tabulator as it's an obvious
channel straight in.

* Not only have they disconnected their servers from the county
intranet and real Internet, they've exposed every inch of wire so that
we can visibly see that they have.

* They finally (based on our demands) agreed to change the passwords
and incoming optical scan modem number for each election. And as
usual in a Diebold system, everybody logs into the server as user
"admin".

So, there's no "private data" left in the data files and no way we can
get a "hacked database" back into their process - and all because of
OUR demands for better security. They still don't want to turn the
raw data files over, allegedly so as to avoid giving "us" (Pima County
Democrats plus one stray Libertarian in the mix - yours truly) a
"hacking roadmap" to future elections. Never mind that anybody who
wants can download and scope out in MS-Access a number of GEMS
databases available for download since 2003.

ALSO note that this county has a penchant for screwed up elections
processes...they plug holes as we (outside observers) find them and
scream bloody murder. The biggest so far is that we've proven these
turkeys have been printing summary reports (showing who's winning and
losing) up to 10 days before election day based on the mail-in vote.
That's tracked in the audit logs. According to sworn testimony by
lower-level Pima elections staff, these have been passed around the
office like they were baseball scores, AND made their way into the
hands of at least one elected official (felony per AZ law). We also
(per two disgusted underlings) know that the Pima election dept's lead
"tech" has been taking copies of the MDB/GBF on CD, in his briefcase,
as "offsite backup". This is the same clown who was spotted with an
open copy of an MS-Access programmer's manual while sitting at the
central tabulator on election night, May of 2006, in a special
election with a $2bil (yeah, billion) bond measure that had failed
four times previously and won this time against all polling
predictions.

So overall, we damned well have a number of reasons to want to scope
things out around here. We're about ready to pound the door down with
a 20ft cactus (which are rather plentiful) but have instead gone to
court.

So which computer scientist does the county drag out here to the
desert to talk about the urgent need for "Security By Obscurity" as an
"expert witness"?

Merle King, comp. sci. professor from Kenessaw U. in Georgia. This is
the partner of Brit Williams who helped set up the Georgia Diebold
system featuring all the worst possible ideas in electronic voting: a
total conversion in '02 to the Diebold TS paperless DRE.

So Professor Jefferson, don't you dare tell me there aren't
"academics" who are adamantly opposed to "the little people" (those
who don't have comp. sci. degrees and NDAs) being able to audit
elections. Don't. You. Dare. We have ALL run into such critters if
we've worked this issue long enough and if you had your eyes open or
your "integrity flag" set to [/ON] you'd see it too.

Nancy Tobi was anything but "hysterical".

Jim March
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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:06 2007

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