[ale] OT: Electronic Voting in GA

Joseph A Knapka jknapka at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 21 01:25:58 EDT 2002

John Mills wrote:
> Joe, all -
> On Sat, 19 Oct 2002, Joseph A Knapka wrote:
>>John Mills wrote:
>>>How would you compare auditing a direct-electronic voting system with
>>>auditing a state's old-style mechanical lever machines?
> Context - when I said 'mechanical' I meant the old lever style.
>>With mechanical voting machines you have an absolutely irrefutable
>>physical representation of each voter's vote.
> You don't have any way to know if your vote was actually added to the
> counter for your candidate, since the counters are out of sight (for their
> protection). Ultimately the totals were transcribed manually. Anyway,
> no one can afford to maintain or set up these beasts any more.
>>With any automated
>>system, you need some way to be sure that there isn't some code
>>in there that says, "No matter what buttons the voters press,
>>record 65% of the vote for candidate A and distribute the
>>remainder randomly among the other candidates."
> I certainly don't say this _can't_ happen, but there are some measures
> that can make it a bit trickier:

Public key cryptography allows us to achieve provably
secure electronic voting, immune from this sort of
attack (see Bruce Schneier's "Applied Cryptography") -
is the GA system using such techniques? Any electronic
voting system certainly ought to, but somehow I doubt
they actually do.


-- Joe

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