Re: Representative Holt's OWN WORDS [Re: OVC-discuss Digest, Vol 36, Issue 9]

From: Nancy Tobi <nancy_dot_tobi_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Oct 30 2007 - 20:59:29 CDT

You may disagree with the video, but no need to act ignorant about it and to
make false assertions.

1) The video shows the source for the unusable DRE records. It states
clearly:
In April 2006, prior to the May 2 primary, the Cuyahoga County Commission
contracted with the Election Science Institute (ESI) to conduct a
comprehensive review of how their new voting system actually worked on an
election day. ESI's report, including the performance of the Diebold
Accuvote TSX voting system, was released by the Cuyahoga County
Commissioners:
"ůmembers of the manual count team found that 10 percent of the paper
ballots were physically compromised in some way."
-Election Science Institute, 08/22/2006
2) The video correctly quotes Holt's own legal counsel who states that the
bill was changed in committee response to MSoft. Original language in the
bill was for full disclosure. If anyone wants to see the outrageous email
thread, on which I was copied, between Holt's counsel and some of his
constituents in which she fingers MSoft for having this changed, please let
me know. Or you can read Mark Crispin Millers account of this too, as he was
also on that entire email thread:
http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_mark_cri_070711_expose__3b_rush_holt_2c_.htm

3) having large groups of people able to read software does not mean that
the vote tabulation system is observable, which is mandated by many state
constitutions and by the federal Voting Rights Act.

4) Nobody is contending that fraud didn't or can't occur with hand counting.
This is a disingenuous argument for e-voting. Elections invite fraud.
E-voting invites massive fraud. But well managed hand count systems are self
auditing, with many sets of eyes on every ballot, every count, every record
of that count. For more information on this see:
http://www.electiondefensealliance.org/HCPB_election_admin_handbook

5) Paying our public servants for the work they do is quite different from
selling our democracy to the highest bidder. Our public servants take an
oath of allegiance to us, our state, our nation. The evoting industry, whose
products are by far among the most offensively and expensively substandard
by any standard - quality, effectiveness, reliability, security, you name it
- is the best example of corporate corruption whose only oath of allegiance
is to their own pockets and those anonymous backers of their despicable
enterprise. Selling our democracy to a private industry which then claims to
OWN OUR VOTE and the OWN OUR VOTE COUNT is nothing short of treasonous to
the very tenets of our American representational democracy and the Republic
itself.

Best,

Nancy Tobi

On 10/30/07, Danny Swarzman <danny@stowlake.com> wrote:
> I can't help it there are many things in this that are almost right.
>
> On Oct 30, 2007, at 2:49 PM, Hamilton Richards wrote:
>
> > [snip]
>
> > If the video's unsourced claim that "up to 10% of the
> > electronically-generated paper records allowed by HR811 are damaged,
> > unreadable, and unusable for audits" is based on anything, it's based
> > on early implementations produced by manufacturers who have an
> > interest in seeing them rejected. Electronically generated
> > voter-verified paper ballots can be far more reliable than
> > hand-marked ones, and far less vulnerable to ballot-box stuffing and
> > spurious rejection by crooked election officialsd
>
> If this has change, we need to see the data verifying it. The
> inherent problem with the paper trail is that there is no way to
> know. Voters don't check it. It is not easy to inspect. When there is
> a difference between the way a voter remembers marking a ballot and
> the paper, they just assume it was their mistake.
> >
> > Concerning code inspection, it's universally accepted in computing
> > science that code cannot be validated by inspection.
>
> David Wagner made this point. Effective disclosure would require that
> the inspector be able to do unit testing and follow the code with a
> debugger or other tools. That is what people do when they make
> software. They specify, code and test. All of this needs to be clear
> and transparent.
>
> >
> > The video's contention that "The committee changed the bill when they
> > heard from Microsoft ... so ordinary American citizens can never know
> > how their votes are being counted" is disingenuous. Microsoft could
> > publish its entire inventory of software on the web, and "ordinary
> > Americans" would still never know how their votes were being counted.
> >
>
> There is a large portion of the population who are capable of
> studying software. It's true that the biggest problem with Windows is
> that it is just too big. Also that it is vulnerable to abuse as we
> all know.
>
> >
> > One reason in favor of open source is that truly open software would
> > be of higher quality initially than proprietary software (there's
> > nothing quite like knowing that your work will be viewed critically
> > by hundreds of your peers), and it could be expected to continue to
> > improve in response to scrutiny and contributions from the
> > open-software community.
>
> Yes. This is why Linux should be trusted better than Windows.
>
> >
> > Another reason is that election officials choosing open-source
> > software would be free from enslavement to a particular vendor. A
> > vendor that charged too much or failed to perform could be replaced
> > by another vendor, since all would have access to the same software.
> >
> > Some proponents of open source, always looking for more arguments in
> > its favor, claim that open source is less insecure than undisclosed
> > source. That claim may have some merit, but it's of no practical use
> > ("less insecure" is like "less pregnant")--unless the software is
> > known to be completely secure, other security measures such as
> > voter-verified paper ballots are still essential.
> >
> >
>
> There is no such thing as completely secure. I think every expert on
> computer security would reject that notion. You need to look at the
> features of the software, do testing and get smart people to try to
> break it. Then you have MORE confidence. Not complete security.
>
> > The mythical golden age
> > --------------------
> > The video makes the claim that "we already have 'verifiable'
> > elections. They're called hand counted, paper ballot elections. We
> > don't need a federal bill...". The colorful history of election fraud
> > in the days before computers is so widely known that this can only be
> > another disingenuous claim. Its author's antipathy to the use of
> > computers in elections is evident, but since it is unsupported by any
> > logical arguments, it's far from persuasive.
>
> If there are fewer steps, fewer things to go wrong, that is a source
> of security. How can you dispute that. There can be fraud without
> computers. Using computers gives more means of cheating.
>
>
> > Profits are evil?
> > ------------
> > The video ends by asserting that no one should make a profit from
> > elections. Does that mean that election officials should not be paid?
> > That the suppliers of printed paper ballots should provide them at
> > cost? How about the printers' suppliers of paper and ink? This smells
> > like a religious argument more than a logical one, and the thing
> > about religion is that you either get it or you don't. Brandishing
> > religious arguments at nonbelievers is famously counterproductive.
>
>
> The problem with the 'profit' motive in practice is that large
> corporations have the power to corrupt the system. History tells us
> that they do.
>
> The privatization of government functions opens the door to conflicts
> of interest. Not the same as paying a salary to elections officials.
>
> -Danny
>
>
>
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Received on Wed Oct 31 23:17:04 2007

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