Re: Seevote??????

From: Jerry Depew <depew_at_ncn_dot_net>
Date: Thu Sep 06 2007 - 08:24:04 CDT

Dylan, Is that site your site? Who is behind it? Do they
exist only in cyberspace? Do they ever read their own messageboard?
Something is amiss there!!

On Thu, 06 Sep 2007 05:25:58 -0500, Dylan Hirsch-Shell <>

> Teresa,
> While I admire your enthusiasm and dedication to the advocacy of the
> superiority of hand-counted paper ballots (HCPBs), I can't help but feel
> that you're missing the forest for the trees in vehemently opposing the
> use
> of any electronic counting technology. The particular type of ballot we
> use, and the openness of the voting process are but a couple of the many
> other ways in which our democratic process could stand to improve.
> In particular, I think that electronic counting machines will be
> absolutely
> indispensable for facilitating the spread of instant runoff voting (IRV)
> throughout the country. This is one simple reform that could bring
> about a
> huge change in our democratic process by eliminating the
> candidates-as-race-horses mentality that currently pervades the
> electorate.
> Imagine never having to hear another person say, "Well, I really like
> Candidate X, but she hasn't a chance in hell of winning, so I'm voting
> for
> Candidate Y instead." IRV would also help by restoring a sense of
> "having a
> voice" to millions of cynical potential-voters out there who feel that
> neither major party actually represents their point of view so why bother
> voting at all? And it will make a true multi-party system possible,
> since
> people wouldn't be able to say things like, "Bush wouldn't have gotten
> into
> office if that narcissistic Nader hadn't stolen all those votes from
> Gore."
> Furthermore, IRV should help level the playing field in a way that will
> combat in at least a small way another major concern with our current
> system
> -- the fact that it takes huge amounts of money to win an election. This
> state of affairs has opened the door for undue influence on the
> government
> by corporate interests willing to funnel millions of dollars to political
> candidates and parties through soft money donations. And we have the
> unfortunate situation where the mainstream press decides to dictate which
> candidates are legitimate "contenders" (another reference to the
> election as
> sport) based solely upon how much money they have managed to raise.
> Open source election software systems would give us the necessary
> infrastructure for implementing IRV while also dramatically reducing the
> costs to state and federal governments of running large elections.
> Ideally,
> it would be nice to see open source introduced in conjunction with
> sensible
> campaign finance reform laws that redirect the funds that are currently
> spent on insanely expensive proprietary electronic voting systems to
> public
> campaign funds available to any candidate that meets a set of basic
> qualifying criteria.
> With regard to the issue of trust, I'm sure you would agree with Brian
> Behlendorf's excellent point that, "Trust comes from defining a process
> with
> enough checks to raise the cost of fraud high enough to make [attempting
> fraud] completely unattractive."
> You have repeatedly made the assertion that the only way to instill
> complete
> trust in election results is with HCPBs, with direct oversight by
> members of
> the public. However, Brian's points about the counting software not
> being
> as important as the overall process are just as valid for HCPBs. You've
> made it clear that you're well aware of the history of fraud with paper
> ballots, so I don't need to go into all of the possible ways that
> elections
> with HCPBs can still be unfairly influenced despite the apparent
> existence
> of oversight.
> You propose as a solution to the problem that we use video to document
> the
> entire counting and certification process. However, this still requires
> that the skeptics among the public must trust that the video feeds are of
> the actual ballot counting rooms, rather than sham rooms set up in a
> conspiracy by somebody or other that will ultimately control the outcome
> of
> the election.
> My point in bringing this possibility up is not to suggest that this
> election-fixing scenario is actually likely under your proposed process,
> but
> only to point out that what may seem infallible to you may very well seem
> dismally flawed to someone else. (After all, there are people who
> believe
> that the moon landing was faked, so what reason do we have to believe
> that
> there wouldn't be people who believed your internet video feeds weren't
> all
> some elaborate hoax?)
> Which brings us back to the idea of how to instill trust in the election
> process. I think it is a simple consequence of human nature that it
> will be
> impossible to ensure that every citizen has 100% trust in the process.
> The
> key is to recognize this fact and to provide mechanisms by which
> suspicious
> voters can "check it out" for themselves. As long as fraud is
> detectable,
> then we don't need to make an infallible system.
> One proposed system for detecting fraud that I think makes a lot of
> sense,
> and which allows the use of any type of local counting process that
> might be
> desired by a precinct, is the seeVote system described at
> Best Regards,
> Dylan
> On 9/4/07, 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,
>> 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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Jerry Depew, Laurens, IA
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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:06 2007

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