Re: [OVC-discuss] Daily Kos vote

From: Edward Cherlin <>
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 14:44:11 CDT

On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 10:23, Bev Harris <> wrote:
>> Hi, Ron. How do you deal with ballot-box stuffing and other known
>> hazards of paper-only?
> Ballot box stuffing is dealt with using the New Hampshire hand count system.

Thanks. Can you give us a URL for more details? Is this done at the
polling place? How are totals recorded and transferred?

> By the way, ballot box stuffing is a horrific risk with mail-in voting;

Agreed, although I have much more often seen mail-in ballots rejected

I have proposed a possibility based on our electronic ballot markers
whereby voters could go to a standard set of locations (as defined by
DoD for military voters; perhaps post offices for others domestically,
and embassies and consulates abroad). They would have to present ID
and give a physical signature at that location. Then they could use
the machine to print a ballot, there or at a designated site in their
home district, which would not bear any personal identification. We
could use signed absentee ballot envelopes as now. This would require
that all election districts submit their ballots in some protected
electronic format for remote use.

This proposal has not been given the scrutiny required for adding to
the OVC system. We would have to do a complete security audit on this
proposal, just as on the rest of our system, to see where alterations
or additional ballots might be slipped in, and how to prevent them.
You are welcome to propose bugs for us to fix.

> note the
> sleight-of-hand we're seeing, "we match the signatures; any voters with
> non-matching sigs are notified." Hello? The stuffing is with the MATCHING sigs,
> not the non-matches; Occasional and irregular voters easily have votes
> counterfeited and voted in their name, and this is already documented in New
> Jersey.

Ah, I remember the shenanigans with the old mechanical lever voting
machines I voted on in New Jersey.

> The sigs being compared, by the way, aren't physical sigs, they are
> database images, easily imported and exported, never even authenticated as the
> real sig, and the "match" is a dog and phony show much like L&A tests. (It
> doesn't matter if a real person sits at a computer screen and checks yes and
> no; the real issue is access and alterations to the yes/no database.)

Very shoddy programming and procedures. We know how to prevent
alterations in recorded data with digital signatures that cannot be
repudiated, forged, or bypassed. Videotaping the matching session is
also useful for securing the results.

> "Other known hazards" are relatively easily dealt with, but since you don't
> specify what you are imagining, it's hard to to refute whatever is in your
> mind.

The usual hazards are ballots added (stuffing), removed, or replaced.
Votes could be added to undervoted ballots. Ballots could be
intentionally spoiled after the voter casts them.

The OVC system has measures in place to prevent each of these
succeeding. In some cases, errors can be corrected, and so cannot
change the totals or the outcome. In some cases, particularly when
ballots are removed, the error can be detected but not corrected. Such
errors should automatically trigger an audit or even a court hearing
(especially if the outcome is endangered).

> Bev Harris
> Founder - Black Box Voting
> * * * * *
> Government is the servant of the people, and not the master of them. The
> people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right
> to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to
> know. We insist on remaining informed so that we may retain control over the
> instruments of government we have created.

Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
OVC-discuss mailing list
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
Received on Mon Nov 30 23:17:06 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Nov 30 2009 - 23:17:17 CST