Re: Is Open Source Enough?

From: Arlene Montemarano <mikarl_at_starpower_dot_net>
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 12:03:17 CDT

I served on Grand Jury (8 weeks, twice a week) many years ago. I
observed the phenomenon of how civic participation does indeed activate
the spirit of democracy within citizens. The transformation was
amazing....... from apathetic to questioning and analyzing legal
principles. I have no doubt that being involved in the protection of
our votes during an election cycle would have the same effect.

Right now people seem to feel a lot like pawns, for good reason. But
let them participate in a job that means something, counting and
protecting our vote.........and watch the same miracle happen. America
needs that miracle now.

Teresa Hommel wrote:
> 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,
> http://www.wheresthepaper.org/ElectionFraud_DontWorryAboutPaperBallots.htm
>
> 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.
>
> Teresa
>
> 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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