Re: Is Open Source Enough?

From: Brent Turner <brent_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 15:46:57 CDT

Interesting in San Francisco- It looks like we will hand count - -
everyone wants hand counts over proprietary-.

 

 Two counts being essential- The SF Board of Supes has requested open voting
- BT

  _____

From: Arlene Montemarano [mailto:mikarl@starpower.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 10:03 AM
To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Is Open Source Enough?

 

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 23:17:05 2007

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