[ale] [OT] Voting Security

aaron aaron at pd.org
Thu Feb 5 23:51:58 EST 2004

On Thursday 05 February 2004 22:01, ChangingLINKS.com wrote:
> > "Internet voting presents far too many opportunities for hackers or even 
> > terrorists to interfere with fair and accurate voting, potentially in ways 
> > impossible to detect," the experts said in a statement Jan. 21. "Such 
> > tampering could alter election results, particularly in close contests."
> > 
> > Seeing this simply stated in the mainstream media is good news,
> > even if the military is being so stubbornly ignorant that they are still
> > considering implementing some form of internet voting.
> That's precisely why I posted it. Seeing it is a "good sign" for
>  that reason, 
> or it could be a "bad sign" that it will give voting systems a reason to "go 
> back" to the way it was before (for years to come).

Judging from the research results, "going back" would be actually be a great 
leap forward. 

Recent comprehensive, real world evaluations of voting systems 
[ http://www.vote.caltech.edu/Reports/2001report.html ]
show paper ballots with human tabulation can average an error rate of less 
than 1%. Adding an electronic scanner system for tabulating paper ballots 
kicks that rate up to about 1.5%. Punch card systems hover around 2.5% error 
rates, a number which, coincidentally, is also the best case result for all 
the currently deployed electronic and touch screen systems.

So, after our various bomb and bankrupt governments dump several billion of 
our tax dollars into the pockets of a pack of technological corporate carpet 
baggers, the absolute best system we will be able to hope for will be one 
only slightly worse than what we already had, and that's only guaranteed in 
the rare places where electronic systems are implemented with thorough 
auditing and public tabulation.

Like I said before, we can hope that stories like this will wake more people 
up to the serious fraud being perpetrated against them. Any electronic voting 
system that lacks full auditing, public accounting,  open source code and 
voter verified paper trails is demonstrably flawed will be highly susceptible 
to both external tampering and internal corruption.


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