Re: Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

From: Arlene Montemarano <mikarl_at_starpower_dot_net>
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 06:45:48 CDT

(This will tick some people off.)

Bravo! Well said!

As a 'little person', I appreciate recognition that all the computer
jargon remains very much Greek to me, and very very intimidating to many
of us without the capacity to understand what it is doing with my very
precious vote. That does not make me a moron. I believe it makes me
typical of voters.

Nancy does understand it and wants to simplify the process for ALL of us
down to its necessities. Paper ballot, I mark it myself, I watch people
count it right there in the room, I can keep track of it all and do not
have to 'trust' and hope and wonder. Can any of the experts in computer
technology ever understand how empowering that is?

It would be such a relief if we could all of us then become experts in
voting and our own voting process.

Jim March wrote:
> On Nov 2, 2007 10:44 PM, David Jefferson <> 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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