Re: Is Open Source Enough?

From: Teresa Hommel <tahommel_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 06:01:54 CDT

Well. actually, I did read "Deliver the Vote" by Tracy Campbell and the
68-page fraud chapter in Harris's 1934 book on Election Administration.
The latter was better in describing the types of fraud conducted with
paper. Then I wrote a paper on the subject,

My idea is to use surveillance cameras to watch the ballot boxes, with a
feed to the internet, so that the whole world can watch any of our
thousands of local pollsites. And the cameras follow the ballot box to
the central location and to the warehouse, and watch the boxes and
ballots until each election is certified.

The need for citizens to perform the easy and manageable task of
watching ballots would involve so many people that it would, I predict,
revitalize our people's faith in our elections. Participation engages
people. Telling people to come out for 5 minutes and vote, and other
than that to mind their own business, is part of what is shutting people
out of the democratic process.


Arthur Keller wrote:

> Thanks, Teresa, for your message.
> There is a long and dishonorable history of fraud from hand-counted
> paper ballots. So hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballots are NOT a
> panacea.
> I do believe that it is possible to design a system relying on the
> proper combination of people and computers that is more reliable than
> one that relies on people alone or computers alone. I also believe
> that it is possible to design a system that is more inherently secure
> and can withstand audits better than a hand-counted paper ballot
> system and far better than the systems we have today.
> You, Teresa, cannot be there to count all 100+ millions cast in a
> Presidential election. You have to rely on others to ensure that
> batches of the ballots are counted accurately and that those batches
> are combined accurately. With hand-counted paper ballots, only a
> small number of people in a precinct can ensure that a particular
> precinct is counted accurately. I would like a system in which anyone
> can audit and recount a precinct. Would that be preferable? I think so.
> Best regards,
> Arthur
> At 10:16 PM -0500 9/3/07, Teresa Hommel wrote:
>> Remember the "Ain't I a Woman" speech of Sojourner Truth?
>> Below is a copy, in case you don't recall it.
>> It came to my mind as I read your discussion of members of the public
>> inspecting software.
>> I thought, ain't I a member of the public? But I don't want to
>> inspect software to figure out if elections are honest and properly
>> conducted.
>> Elections are about votes and ballots, and I want to observe my own
>> votes on my own hand-marked ballot, and observe the handling of the
>> ballots once they are cast.
>> Instead of spending the rest of my life reading 50,000 lines of bad
>> code, which is what it would take me, I would rather spend one or two
>> days per election watching the ballots and vote-counting with my
>> neighbors.
>> Teresa Hommel
>> Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain't I A Woman?
>> Delivered 1851
>> Women's Convention, Akron, Ohio
>> Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something
>> out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the
>> women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be
>> in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
>> That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages,
>> and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere.
>> Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me
>> any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I
>> have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could
>> head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as
>> a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I
>> a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off
>> to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but
>> Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
>> Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call
>> it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey.
>> What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my
>> cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be
>> mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
>> Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much
>> rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ
>> come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man
>> had nothing to do with Him.
>> If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world
>> upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn
>> it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to
>> do it, the men better let them.
>> Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got
>> nothing more to say.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
> tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:04 2007

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