secure voting system already exists - Re: OVC-discuss

From: compodinamic <contact_at_compodinamic_dot_it>
Date: Mon Nov 05 2007 - 08:36:11 CST

Dear Nancy T.
A secure voting system already exists!
This system allows to vote with a digital machine, to check what has been voted, to make it digital, univocal, not alterable , print what you voted, to put in the urn the printed vote and to make it not replaceable. The counting of the votes is not alterable, You can check it at any time, even after many years, quickly. The technology will be unveiled in January of 2008.
Giuseppe Cascella

----- Original Message -----
  From: Nancy Tobi
  To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
  Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 2:13 PM
  Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] readable source code [Re: OVC-discuss Digest,Vol 37, Issue 10]

  "I realize some people find these comments "unhelpful" to the cause -
  sorry, folks. I think it's better to advocate for policies that are
  highly defensible, like public funding for certification of open source
  systems, rather than mandates to reveal source to systems."

  Why would anyone find it unhelpful to advocate for rigorous hand count checks and balances on an open source system? Anyone advocating for the use of technology in our elections ought to be including this piece of the process as a MUST DO.

  We can't have a voting system with no checks and balances - most particularly those that are observable and accessible to citizen oversight. Period.

  I think this is the only sane road for an open source advocacy to be on.

  Nancy T

  On 11/4/07, Brian Behlendorf <brian@behlendorf.com> wrote:
    On Sun, 4 Nov 2007, Hamilton Richards wrote:
> No doubt you can, Fred, but the issue was whether it could be read by
> a significant fraction of the voting public. And the real issue is
> not how many people can read it, but how many could reason about it,
> well enough to construct a sound argument that it's correct.

    In a properly run open source project, it's not only the code that is
    publicly revealed - the methods of development are also public, as well as
    all other artifacts such as requirements, test cases, architecture
    documents, anything else essential to development. Furthermore, questions
    by new users, asked publicly and answered publicly, form a knowlege base
    that help grow the ecosystem and ensure the project can survive no matter
    which developers move onto other endeavors, and no matter which companies
    drop their involvement. I personally place much more trust in code around
    which a healthy community exists, than even supposedly superior code built
    in isolation.

    Given this, whether the public can read or make judgements on the code by
    itself matters far, far less than whether the public (or people they
    trust) can see that the project involves a broad number of participants,
    representing multiple interests, engaged at multiple levels, comprehending
    the code and stewarding it onwards to new features and greater
    reliability.

    Mere publishing of source code, however, does not create this kind of
    community. It can even lead to confusion, as we've seen in this thread.
    Faced with a mandate to reveal their source code, any existing voting
    system vendor could simply release the end result of their development
    efforts, and the public would not, IMHO, be that much better off in terms
    of transparency, auditability, or giving precincts the freedom of choice
    that open source software is supposed to bring.

> So I ask all of my fellow proponents of open-source election
> software: What would you do with it if you had it? Would you be able
> to construct such a convincing argument for its correctness that
> ballot printers could be dispensed with?

    Heck no! The software should never be trusted to do the job correctly
    without failsafes and auditing. There's no way any citizen can ensure
    that the software running on the system is the software whose code they
    know to be trustable, let alone the potential for missed bugs or hardware
    issues. That shouldn't even be the goal of open source voting systems;
    instead, it's about creating a flatter and more competitive environment
    for the vendors, mitigating one source of distrust in the system, and
    giving precincts more options to run the systems themselves.

    Trust should come from designing a voting and counting process that uses
    software to make it faster and easier to (optionally) mark and count paper
    ballots, with mandated hand-checking of results and retaining all paper to
    count in the event of a dispute later. Trust should not come from
    thinking the computer stored and tallied the results correctly, with no
    means to validate that result.

    This is also why public disclosure of source code to voting systems is
    *not* comparable to public disclosure of legal code. Legal code does not
    implement a system, it is the definition of the system, for which the
    concept of independent auditing doesn't apply.

> Because some readers of this list may misinterpret what I've just
> written as an attack on open source, let me reiterate that I am
> entirely in favor of making election software open-source. What I
> don't accept is the purported connection between open source and
> security, correctness, and validity.

    We agree, and I doubt people would think I am likely to attack open
    source, either. :)

    I realize some people find these comments "unhelpful" to the cause -
    sorry, folks. I think it's better to advocate for policies that are
    highly defensible, like public funding for certification of open source
    systems, rather than mandates to reveal source to systems.

            Brian

    _______________________________________________
    OVC-discuss mailing list
    OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
    http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
    By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  _______________________________________________
  OVC-discuss mailing list
  OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
  http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
  By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/

_______________________________________________
OVC-discuss mailing list
OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================
Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:10 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Nov 30 2007 - 23:17:31 CST