Re: Rummy is going
Mark Hickey <email@example.com> wrote:
> Dane Buson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>Mark Hickey <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> And perhaps you can show me where I ever said anything remotely like
>>> there weren't ANY problems with electronic voting? Of COURSE there
>>> are "problems" with electronic voting (name one other electronic
>>> device that's 100.000% reliable).
>>Oh Mark, I can confidently state you have very little idea what you're
>>talking about. I would be ecstatic if we held voting machines to the
>>same piddling standards we hold less important similar machines (i.e.,
>>electronic slot machines).
> It's clear you haven't participated in the several threads on this
> subject previously (JT seems doomed to repeat the same conversation
> over and over and over again, ala 'Groundhog Day', but I'm going to
> let him go solo).
No, I've discussed this on multiple computer technical fora instead.
I'm sorry, but I haven't felt much need to participate since only some
of you fellows are qualified to follow a technical discussion on the
subject. That doesn't mean however that you can't hold an *informed*
opinion about it of course.
>>> The previous discussion I was involved in had to do with INTENTIONAL
>>> alteration of the machine to corrupt the results, and so far no one's
>>> shown where that's happened (nor did the article you reference above
>>The whole point is that we will probably never know. There are *no*
>>audit trails in most of these machines. Let me repeat that: there are
>>*no* audit trails. How much should I chalk up to ignorance and
>>incompetence and how much to malice? I believe it's mostly stupidity,
>>but what if I'm wrong?
> There are (cue scary music...) "no audit trails" because it's a VOTING
Nonsense. There is more than one way to skin the cat.
> If the thing spits out a ticker tape of the votes as they're
> made, it's a simple matter to determine who voted how, which is not
Okay, easy to solve, print out a human-readable copy of the ballot and
have the person drop it in a lock-box. Easy-peasy. If there's a need
to recount, it would be trivial to verify the totals.
> We've had many interesting discussions about ways to
> overcome this conundrum, but none that (IMHO) would work AND protect
> voter's rights to privacy. If you have a better idea, feel free to
> give it to Diebold - you'll be rich.
Diebold has shown again and again that they are neither interested in
accuracy, privacy, or security . They are interested in producing
minimum bid results with zero transparency. They write crap software
and they know it.
If I had turned in their design for my Senior Design *undergraduate*
project, I would not have expected a very good grade.
>>> And of course, one would have to (try to...) totally ignore the fact
>>> that the normal spoilage on alternative (paper) methods of voting are
>>> many times higher than that of the electronic methods. I suspected
>>> that everyone still remembered that from 2000, but I suppose not.
>>Bahahaha! Properly designed paper ballots are many many times better
>>than any of the current electronic crop of crap.
> I mis-spoke when I said "many times higher" - but clearly the spoilage
> rate is higher than for the electronic voting machines (on the order
> of 2% for paper ballots, based on the research I've seen).
Please cite. I know we have very low rate of spoilage issues in
Washington state. We use Scantron - fill in the circle - type
balloting. It's pretty hard to screw up. I'm sure some people do
Here's a heartening story of electronic vote accuracy: 3% errorhttp://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?i...C-RSSFeeds0312
Poor programming and poor training cause other problems:http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/....ap/index.html
>>And the fellow who wrote the article is Bruce Schneier. He's probably
>>one of the foremost experts in computer security in the entire *world*.
>> He thinks all the current US voting machines are utter crap. Pretty
>>much the entire rest of the reputable security and computer people in
>>the US agree with him.
>> He literally wrote the main reference book on Cryptography. He's
>>not a lightweight.
> No one denies that it would be possible to tamper with the electronic
> voting machines. But no reasonable person denies that it would be
> much more difficult than tampering with paper ballots.
Everyone with any knowledge of the subject says it's *easier* than
tampering with paper ballots. Spoiling attacks are *ridiculously* easy.
All you have to do is mess up the 'tamper-tape' on a box and it's votes
are in doubt. How would you feel if someone went to a Republican heavy
polling district and did that? They would most likely have to throw out
a good percentage or all of the votes from that machine. How long would
it take? Five seconds - tops.
># Some localities have taken to securing the PCMCIA slot with security
>tape or plastic ties. The idea here is that a cut tie or torn tape will
>invalidate the results of that machine, because poll workers can't
>guarantee that it wasn't compromised. There are two things wrong with
> 1. If you want to invalidate all the results stored in machines in a
>precinct that favors your opponent, just cut the tape or the ties on
>those machines. If the election supervisor sticks to the rules, then he
>or she will be forced to throw out all of those votes.
> 2. According to author, security researcher, and Maryland election
>judge Avi Rubin, one would almost have to have a CIA background to be
>able to tell if the security tape applied to the AccuVotes in the
>Maryland primary had been removed and reapplied.
From the same article:
"Finally, it's extremely important to note that, in the absence of a
meaningful audit trail, like that provided by voter-verified paper
receipts, it is *virtually impossible* to tell machine malfunction from
Also, how hard is to open a lock on the machine?
You need a hotel mini-bar key:http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/18/178218
"In fact, the key in question is a utilitarian type used to open office
furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and the like. They might as
well hand them out like candy."
Please please please read up on this issue. This is not a partisan
issue. It's in every honest upstanding citizens interests to have good
and fair elections.
This is probably one of the most accessible articles on the subject:http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/evoting.ars
 They use Windows for Christ's sake. It wouldn't have cost much
extra to use a good solid proprietary embedded OS like QNX. Of course
Diebold's programmers are... not so good. I've worked with some of
them, I was not impressed.
Dane Buson - firstname.lastname@example.org
All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts
you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't get
them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.
-- IBM maintenance manual, 1925