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Federal Panel [not NIST] Rejects Paper Trail For E-Voting 191

Posted by Zonk
from the democracy-costs-too-much dept.
emil10001 writes "The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has rejected a proposal suggesting that electronic voting have a paper trail. The draft recommendation was developed by NIST scientists, who called out electronic voting machines as being 'impossible' to secure." From the article: "Committee member Brit Williams, who opposed the measure, said, 'You are talking about basically a reinstallation of the entire voting system hardware.' The proposal failed to obtain the 8 of 15 votes needed to pass. Five states — Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and South Carolina — use machines without a paper record exclusively. Eleven states and the District either use them in some jurisdictions or allow voters to chose whether to use them or some other voting system." So ... accountability in voting will be a joke for the foreseeable future because it costs too much?
Update: 12/11 03:20 GMT by KD : Correction: It was not NIST that rejected NIST's recommendations, it was a federal panel chartered by Congress, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee.
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Federal Panel [not NIST] Rejects Paper Trail For E-Voting

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  • First p (Score:4, Funny)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:45PM (#17149522) Homepage Journal
    Hey! Where did the rest of my subject line go?? It was there! I typed an'o', an 's', and a 't'! These dang computers are so insecure. I want a paper trail of my postings.
  • So ... accountability in voting will be a joke for the foreseeable future because it costs too much? Yes, its expensive and will remain a joke, not because its expensive, but because politicians want it to be expensive to fix the joke that helps them win elections....
    • Have you considered the possibility that the people who voted against the proposal (or their political masters) got into place via a software-rigged vote?
      • My first thought was simple: WTF? Better crack than the mods at ./ apparently.
        But you and the GP seem to fit Occam's Razor better, so I think it's likely to be true. Sadly.

        -nB
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jfengel (409917)
      The administration in power just suffered an enormous loss of power, with these machines already in place. Many of those elections were close enough to tip with only a tiny, hard-to-detect cheat, and the Republicans needed only a single change in the Senate to keep power there.

      Are you saying that they're waiting for something REALLY important to come along before they unleash the their cheats?

      I do think we need better accountability in elections, because it's terrible that we can't be certain in the country
      • [sarcasm]They cheated alright, but due to a bug with a misplaced decimal or something ("I always do that") they found that they had $300 grand more than planned and thew Dems got the votes.[/sarcasm]

        realistically though if you were to cheat you would want it to me hard to detect, maybe if they did the algorithm just needs more tweaking? :-)

        I dunno, I simply hope for the big backlash to put indys in office. I bet if Ross Perot ran now he'd take it by a landslide.
        -nB
      • by Thansal (999464)
        Well, obviously the republicans did cheat, just they did not cheat enough! the voter gap was so large infavor of the Dems that those evil repubs lost even AFTER adding lots and lots of extra votes!

        Or, if you are a republican:

        Well, it is obvious that the dirty dems riged the vote this time around! They stole the election! And we all know that the dems ALWAYS rig elections (*point back to past casses of votter coersion*).

        heh, pardon me, just felt like it :D

        As for why I think they voted it down?
        They don't r
        • by Ucklak (755284)
          Republicans use virtual votes to win.
          Democrats use dead votes to win.

          We still all lose.
          • by cHiphead (17854)
            Democrats use dead votes to win.

            Only in Chicago. And you dont ask questions. Daley is the kingXXXX mayor, just deal with it. ;)

            Cheers.
      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:23PM (#17150176) Journal
        Committee member Brit Williams, who opposed the measure, said, 'You are talking about basically a reinstallation of the entire voting system hardware.'

        You know, if each American who reads slashdot went out and smashed just ONE voting machine each with a sledgehammer, this entire argument would be a moot point.

        I do think we need better accountability in elections, because it's terrible that we can't be certain in the country that's supposed to be the leader in democracy.

        Is this a joke? America has replaced more democratic leaders with puppet dictators than Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia put together, and their own democracy looks more and more like a trick of the light with each passing day.
        • by raehl (609729)
          From the article:

          'You are talking about basically a reinstallation of the entire voting system hardware.'

          This illustrates the problem with these people. They view the paperless machines as voting machines that need to be reinstalled. They are not voting machines at all. The recommendation is talking about the original installation of voting system hardware where none currently exist.

          This is like saying you shouldn't buy a new computer because you'd basically be reinstalling your television.

          You know, if e
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by killjoe (766577)
        What makes you think they didn't cheat? It could very well be that they rigged to throw one out of ten thousand votes to go republican but it wasn't enough.

        I am not saying that they did that, I am saying that just because they won it doesn't mean they didn't cheat. It could mean they didn't cheat enough and maybe next time they will.
      • by dryeo (100693)
        Perhaps they're smart enough to know the shit is about to hit the fan (Iraq, economy, etc) and want the Dems in power when the shit hits the fan so the Dems take the blame and people rush to the Republicans to fix the mess the Democrats created?
      • Alternative hypothesis: they're waiting for the spotlight to move away from e-voting machines so they won't get caught.
        • by jfengel (409917)
          Could be. That's giving them credit for longer-term thinking than I'm used to, what with the whole cake-walk war thing.
    • accountability in voting will be a joke for the foreseeable future because it costs too much?
      No, accountability in voting will be a joke in the foreseeable future because it always was a joke in the past. Go watch "Streets of New York".
      Paper ballots == ballot stuffing.
    • by spisska (796395)
      There are a number of problems with paper trails besides their cost.

      1) The paper record is a roll that records votes sequentially. This can potentially compromise the secrecy of the ballot.

      2) The printer itself malfunctions -- the paper jams, ink runs out, paper runs out, paper is damaged or destroyed while advancing, etc. This would be especially problematic in jurisdictions where the paper trail is the ballot of record -- i.e. any disputes or recounts have to be based on the paper rather than the electron
    • ...every time we try to introduce a paper trail into voting the Democrats and various groups scream "racism!" and "disenfranchisement!". Heck, a court or two has even overturned such measure as "anti-constitutional".

      Really, before we worry about whether we've recorded the vote correctly, shouldn't we be worrying about if we recorded the voter correctly?

      details [washingtonpost.com]
  • Great quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:47PM (#17149558) Homepage Journal
    "You are talking about basically a reinstallation of the entire voting system hardware."

    Um ... yeah, like the switch from paper ballots and/or mechanical voting machines to electronic voting machines in the first place?

    Stupidest. Excuse. For. Shilling. For. The. Forces. Of. Evil. EVER.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Even if it's not schilling for the forces of evil, it is unwise to admit to an error in judgement and simultaneously claim that it would be too costly to repair your error after the fact.
    • When I voted in the last election my polling place had about a dozen plastic voting booth tables on metal legs and one optical scan reader that instantly verified/tabulated/secured the paper ballot (mis-marked ballots are rejected by the reader). Imagine the costs for that single poll station if there were a dozen complex electronic voting machines instead of the plastic booths. It's also easier to train poll workers how to replace pens and issue new blank ballots than it is to get them to understand comple
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)
        >Whether or not you think electronic voting can ever work, from a simple cost-effectiveness standpoint it is an asinine goal to pursue.

        This is absolutey not true. Electronic voting done right works in many places, most notably Brazil. Theyve had some scandals but now they have paper verified voting. You vote and it prints out a slip of paper. The paper goes in a bag in case of contestment. (is that a word?) Not to mention Brazil is HUGE country. Its almost 200 million. We're at 300 million and we dont
        • The problem here is the cronyism. You cant make voting machines in the for-profit/old boys club. These machines (or least their designs) need to be first developed by the government, tested by the government, open to the people, then sent to manufacturers. The top down approach of business approaching government with a machine designed in-house is terrible for this kind of application.

          Oh! I get it now! It's a trickle-down democracy!

          By giving vote-breaks to the richest 1%, their increased democratic empowerment will trickle-down to benefit the disenfranchised!

        • by spisska (796395)

          Electronic voting done right works in many places, most notably Brazil. [...] Not to mention Brazil is HUGE country. Its almost 200 million. We're at 300 million and we dont even have compulsory voting.

          Unfortunately, this is not an apt comparison. Electronic voting does indeed scale well. But as far as elections are concerned, the US is not a country of 300 million -- it is 50 different states each of which has its own laws and practices regarding the conduct of elections, and each of which is made up of

        • by StikyPad (445176)
          No, the problem is that a "paper trail" means jack. If I can hack the software, I can certainly modify it to record one thing and print out another. The only way to be sure your vote matches the one cast is if there were TWO paper copies -- one for you and one for the record, and then the record would have to be AT LEAST randomly sampled, if not fully tallied. And guess what? Counting paper ballots is the old system. If we're going to have paper voting, then just have paper voting -- no need for electr
          • by Acer500 (846698)
            Er... systems proposed call for the voter to SEE what's on the paper as part of the "paper trail".

            If not, it's just as useless as no paper trail at all.

            Example from the ACM:

            Voting systems should also enable each voter to inspect a physical (e.g., paper) record to verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast and to serve as an independent check on the result produced and stored by the system.

            http://www.acm.org/usacm/Issues/EVoting.htm [acm.org]

    • by Hatta (162192)
      Tell Brit Williams [nist.gov] how you feel. His email is on that page.
    • by cptgrudge (177113)

      Yep, all bad excuses.

      We're spending 1.6 billion a week [iraqanalysis.org] on a war that will purportedly make us safer. (Irrelevant for our argument here whether it does or not.) But we won't spend several billion to ensure that one of the cornerstones of our democratic system of government, the voting process, is reasonably secure and verifiable?

      Wonderful. Just peachy.

  • by Kookus (653170) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:48PM (#17149570) Journal
    So what if there's a paper trail? It means absolutely nothing unless it's actually used, and is accessible by the people casting the votes! This is something that is wrong with the current system also!

    I have no idea who I voted for in any election. I know who I thought I voted for, but I have no idea if it was counted that way. Where can I go to find that out? Let's say there is some way for me to determine if my vote was counted in a certain way. What about everyone else? Is there a way to make sure the vote they think was mine was exclusively mine?

    I'd rather have the problems associated with receipts with ids on them that I can log online to see who I voted for instead of the current system.
    • by soft_guy (534437)

      So what if there's a paper trail? It means absolutely nothing unless it's actually used, and is accessible by the people casting the votes! This is something that is wrong with the current system also!

      I have no idea who I voted for in any election. I know who I thought I voted for, but I have no idea if it was counted that way. Where can I go to find that out? Let's say there is some way for me to determine if my vote was counted in a certain way. What about everyone else? Is there a way to make sure the vote they think was mine was exclusively mine?

      I'd rather have the problems associated with receipts with ids on them that I can log online to see who I voted for instead of the current system.

      That would alloc coercion and vote buying.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Kookus (653170)
        What's a commercial? Why do the big race politicians spend millions of dollars (They sure aren't doing it to get their "message" out)?

        You gotta be kidding me if you think they aren't already buying votes.

        Let them attempt to buy elections, make it illegal, put out "honeypots", catch the rats and disqualify them from the race! Even if they could directly buy votes, think of how much money you'd need to spend just to sway an election... and there's no way you could do that without getting caught.

        I sure hope so
        • by soft_guy (534437)
          There is a difference between a political advertisement and saying "If you vote for X and can prove to me that you did, I'll give you $n"
          • by yakovlev (210738)
            Or more importantly: "If you don't vote for X, and prove it to me, I'll kill your family."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lawpoop (604919)
      There are three problems with logging online to see who you voted for:
      1. You could sell your vote, and use the website to verify it to the purchaser.
      2. Your boss or someone else could intimidate you into voting a certain way, and you would keep your job by showing your boss how you voted on the website
      3. The fact that you cast a ballot and your receipt number shows a certain vote on a website may have nothing at all to do with the official tally.

      See this post [slashdot.org] for my solution..

      • by dwandy (907337)
        Check Three Ballot Voting System [mit.edu] (PDF Warning).

        It's a paper-based voting system that allows you to verify that your vote was cast but doesn't allow you to prove how you voted.
        In general terms you vote twice for guy you want, and once for the guy you don't want, leaving your guy +1 over the other. You then are allowed to take a copy (at random) of one the three ballots to walk out with. It has a serial number that is no way related to the other ballots. You use the serial number to check that at least 1/3

        • by lawpoop (604919)
          That's a good solution to the problems of vote-selling and voter intimidation, but again, the acts of casting a ballot and verifying it later on a website or by any other method *may not* have any bearing on the actual official tally. You can have all the three-ballot voting and online verification you want, but if the machines verify ballots correctly online but decide to ignore those verified ballots when it comes time to report the tally, you can have a stolen election.

          If you have a paper trail, that's
      • by spitzak (4019)
        Though the vote buying/intimidation problems are true, your third point is wrong. If the website actually lists *all* the votes, then you can add them up and confirm whether they match the reported tally or not.
        • by lawpoop (604919)
          No, the third point is dead-on. That's why it's so insidious; it's not obvious.

          Sure, the website will list all of the 'votes', and they will match with the tally. However, you don't know that *any* of those votes are valid. At most, you can only verify one, and that is your own. In order to double-check that any vote is correct, you would have to have someone say "Yup, that's who I voted for". And then, in order to count the whole election, you would have to have everyone confirm their vote to you.

          If
    • come up with such a system that protects you being susceptible to intimidation. your own access to your recorded vote outside of the voting booth of necessity grants access to your recorded vote to anyone who "convinces" you it is worthwhile to show them your vote.

      i still don't see the problem with simple scantron "fill in the bubble" voting sheets. fill them in, take them to a machine and feed it in. the machine displays the votes on screen that it is about to record. you confirm that "yup, the machine rea
    • "I'd rather have the problems associated with receipts with ids on them that I can log online to see who I voted for instead of the current system."

      Fine. In the next election, make sure you vote for the party I tell you to. I expect to see your reciept as proof you voted appropriately. If you don't, I'll break your kneecaps with a sledgehammer. And if I can't find you, I'll just have your family killed.

      Or we could just, you know, *not* promote vote fraud. That would be OK too. Whichever you and

    • by yankpop (931224)

      It is used. Whenever there's a recount.

      No, you can't link an individual ballot to a particular individual. That's a feature, not a bug. If you could identify individuals you would enable coercion before the election and reprisals afterwards, hardly favourable conditions for a democratic society.

      But while you can't follow your particular ballot through the system, you can do that as a group. If 100 people vote at your polling station and more or less than 100 votes are tallied then there has been some ta

    • by |/|/||| (179020)
      You're exactly right. What we should have is a system where all of the polling data is made publicly accessible, and the voter can compare the ID from their "voting reciept" to the data and see that their vote was tallied correctly.

      If it's not, they should be able to pull up a scanned image of their ballot printout, which they reviewed after it printed from the voting machine and before it was dropped into the box.

      Granted, it might be difficult to prove that your vote was tampered with if it has been, but

    • by Chapter80 (926879)
      I disagree that a paper trail is necessary.

      I'd prefer a published file that had all the ballots in voter-readable form.

      Imagine a website that you could go to (either at the polls, or at home after the election) where you could key in your super-secret code and verify your vote. Imagine a series of PDF's auto-generated (or even more compact and readable than that). Imagine being able to pull up every ballot in your precinct, and being able to verify the ballots against the precinct totals to see how yo

      • Imagine a website that you could go to (either at the polls, or at home after the election) where you could key in your super-secret code and verify your vote.

        Until your union manager wants your "super-secret code" to make sure you're "part of the family". It doesn't seem right, but you have a stable paycheck and kids to feed. Someone else can rock the boat...
  • Too Costly? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gt_mattex (1016103) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:49PM (#17149590)

    So, disregarding the fact that their own scientists cited the machine's insecurities, the executives feel that the 'cost' of replacing or updating the machines is prohibitive for our countries (arguably) most important decision?

    This whole things reeks of pork and the 'old boys' club'

  • by DavidinAla (639952) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:50PM (#17149594)
    That news article was from two days ago. Check out what happened since then: http://www.techliberation.com/archives/041383.php [techliberation.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by chrisb33 (964639)
      Hmm... what's the relationship of that article to the original article and this one from a few days ago [washingtonpost.com]? What exactly are they recommending/rejecting?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by grantus (261016)
        "Hmm... what's the relationship of that article to the original article and this one from a few days ago? What exactly are they recommending/rejecting?"

        The committee essentially reversed itself the next day. The second proposal was worded differently, making it clear that only future e-voting machines would be required to have independent audit mechanisms. The second version also addressed some concerns about accessibility of disabled people to the paper trail mechanisms.

        So, in short, the story posted on sl
  • by mungtor (306258) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:50PM (#17149610)
    "Members of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee, a group created by Congress to advise the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, deadlocked 6 to 6 on the proposal at a meeting held at the NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg. Eight votes are needed to pass a measure on the 15-member committee."

    How do you deadlock 6 to 6 on a 15 person committee? Were the other 3 votes just not counted?
  • by Philom (24273) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:51PM (#17149626)
    This story is badly out of date. The panel voted again the next day and reached a compromise that will require future electronic voting machines to have paper trails. See:

    http://news.com.com/Panel+changes+course%2C+approv es+e-voting+checks/2100-1028_3-6140956.html [com.com]
    http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1095 [freedom-to-tinker.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by emil10001 (985596)

      That's interesting, I submitted the story yesterday at noon, and hadn't seen anything new on it. But reading the update is also quite interesting, because the issue remains that the voting machines which are currently in place, and have no paper trail, will stay there as they are. The proposal that passed leaves it to the "next generation" of machines, and does not seem to affect the ones currently in place. So, this story is still relevant, because those problematic machines are still in place, and will st

  • The article summary (no, I didn't RTFA) seems to be in direct opposition to a Washington Post article I read today stating that the Technology Guidelines Development Committee wanted to "end the era" of paperless electronic voting and that many politicians wanted to add some form of verification method.

    So who's got the real story and who's just spreading FUD? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • Not cost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amigabill (146897) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:55PM (#17149698)
    So ... accountability in voting will be a joke for the foreseeable future because it costs too much?

    No. Accountability in voting will be a joke because that would be an inconvenience to the Inner Party achieving their goals, whatever those may be. Cost is simply an excuse for the public.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... except when it's our Democracy.

    Think about it, we spend more in Iraq each month than this proposal would cost, all in the name of "securing democracy". Not only that, it's perfectly clear at this point that the only "freedom" we are providing the Iraqis is the freedom to kill each other and our soldiers.

    How the hell can anyone not support this measure? Or, more appropriately, how are the clowns who don't support it keeping their jobs?

    Oh,

    yeah,

    the easily stealable elections...
    • by Detritus (11846)
      How the hell can anyone not support this measure? Or, more appropriately, how are the clowns who don't support it keeping their jobs?

      Well, in Maryland, the clowns are leading members of the Democratic party, who never make mistakes and have jobs for life. They approved the purchase of the flawed Diebold machines, and because they are infallible, there is nothing wrong with the machines.

  • by Bryansix (761547) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:02PM (#17149838) Homepage
    I'm getting really tired of this crap! Putting the whole country on an optical scanning system would not be expensive at all. No more excuses. I want a paper with the name of the candidate I voted for right next to my mark. I want this to be audited randomly and I want random checks of the random checks. I want to know that my vote was counted. Otherwise this is just a fake democracy.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Why do you need optical scanners at all? Why not just have people count the votes? This is the way it works in Canada, and in many other countries.
  • Conspiracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mulhollandj (807571)
    I haven't yet determined if this is a conspiracy of power mongers or just one of mass stupidity. I think both.
    • by lottameez (816335)
      I vote for stupidity.

      HAHAHAHA. Ain't it great, I said "vote for stupidity"! It can mean "Vote" as a clever tie-in to the story subject, or "vote for stupidity" as in "I vote for stupid things", e.g. Bush, or it could be just my answer to the parent post or it ....

      -5 Inane Blathering. Karma whore no more.
  • The scientiest at the NIST are right: voting machines *are* indeed impossible to secure. But it's not because of some inherent technical limitation or issue. It's because there is absolutely no way to truely verify the integrity of the machine at its most basic levels: operating system and voting software. There's no way to ensure that either has not been tampered with since both of these two critical pieces of the infrastructure are usually closed source.

    Now, while I'm a fan of open source, I can definitel
    • You can't make a computer secure so that's why you make your system not rely on the computer:

      Voter ---> Computer --> PRINTOUT --> BOX --> Counting --> Final Tally

      I could care less if the computer is rigged as long as the printout say what I actually thought I voted for and as long as I can observe the counting.
  • Secure tallying (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:06PM (#17149900) Homepage Journal
    I don't think the solution to current-day voting machine problems are a more secure way of voting. I think what we need is secure tallying.

    Whatever scheme we dream up, such as punch-card voting, or a paper trail, the fact remains that we really don't know whether our vote will affect the *tally*. A paper trail only comes into play when the official tally is suspect for some reason. What we really need to know is that our vote is counted. Even if we have a bar-code on a paper receipt that shows exactly who we voted for, we have no way of knowing whether or not our little bar-code verified data gets in to the official tally.

    Here's what I wrote [slashdot.org] the last time this discussion came up on slashdot:
    "What I'm envisioning is some kind of method where votes can be tallied, and the running tally can be periodically published during the count. I imagine it would have some kind of hashing technology, like PGP, where tallies are perhaps encoded in a string, and the string is published. The hashing token, or whatever mechanism allowed a vote to be legitimately added to the tally, would be passed from one voter to another, after they voted. This puts the power to count votes into the hand of the voters, rather than a poorly-trained election volunteer, a partisan, or a hackable machine. Because of the constraints of the token and hashing, a voter can only vote as they are allowed, without destroying the tally hash string."

    One problem with secure tallying is that you want to make sure that your vote is counted in the official tally, but you don't want others to deduce how you voted from the official tally. At this point, I imagine one voter passing the official tally to the next voter. That way you can be certain you have affected the tally, and the design of the system constrains you to only one vote. Periodically, perhaps every hour, the official tally is publicly released. Nobody can then figure out how you voted; they only know how the crowd voted in the past hour.

    To satisfy the choke point of one voter passing the official tally to the next person, there can be multiple official tallies that are running concurrently, and at the end of voting, they are all added together in a master tally.
    • Chaum's peel-off ballot gives you a ticket to take home that doesn't show how you voted but does enable you to track that your vote got counted and got counted correctly.
      • by lawpoop (604919)
        Could your boss sit down with you and your peel-off, watch you log on to the website, and make sure that you voted the right way?

        Google didn't turn up any hits for the unquoted phrase "Chaum's peel-off ballot". Where can I learn more about it?
  • A few years ago when your candidate lost, you complained about other countries having E-voting and u.s. lagging behind. When your candidate still lost in 2004, you complained about E-voting not working and rushing into it too fast.

    Now you're complaining about other countries taxing energy use to reduce global warming and u.s. lagging behind in such taxes. Wonder where this is going.

  • It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes.

    If voting mattered, they wouldn't let you vote! Silly to think you actually have choices in an election. Elections are just your high school SGA with older people. Simple popularity contests.
  • by nullchar (446050) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:10PM (#17149958)

    So ... accountability in voting will be a joke for the foreseeable future because it costs too much?

    And accountability in voting will be a joke because the first implementation was a total fuck up?

    In software, the solution to this problem would be: eVoting 2.0
    Changelog:

    • Added verifiable paper trail for each ballot cast (not a total summary printout at the end)
    • Replaced Diebold with open source hardware and software
    • Restored confidence in democracy
    • by dangitman (862676)

      Restored confidence in democracy

      • Received complaints from users of the system that this "democracy" thing is unseemly, and confidence in it is unwarranted.
      • Scrapped project, started new project to promote fear of terrorism instead.
      • Bought cocaine and hookers
    • by Firehed (942385)
      • ???
      • Profit!
  • Voting machine:

    1. Setup linux distro with apache, tomcat, whatever
    2. Install ballot web app
    3. Install ballot CUPS printer filter
    4. Setup firefox for kiosk mode

    Counting machine:

    1. Setup linux distro with ballot_counter.py
    2. Attach scanner
    3. Run ballots through OCR software
    4. Update counters (in realtime as scanned)

    Ballots print like this, one measure per line:

    PRESIDENT: AL GORE
    SENATE: JAMES WEBB
    STEM-CE
  • I can walk into a store and buy a postage stamp and get a receipt for it. The receipt uniquely records my transaction and is my proof that I bought a stamp. So how come a voting machine cannot do likewise? It isn't rocket science. It isn't difficult. All it has to do is print a receipt that I put in a box when I walk out of the voting booth. If there is any dispute, the paper receipt can be used independently count the number of votes which should tally with the electronic total.

    I do not understand why an

  • If you have a paper trial, you may as well just use paper ballots. Optical scanning equipment can be really efficient and fast. You just need to minimize possibility of incomplete punches - with proper equipment, that's possible with very high certainty. Add to that good ballot design (the Florida example was just poor graphic design) and you have a winner.

    -b.

  • voting machine looks like it does today, touch screen for example.
    When the user presses the vote button the machine prints a ticket with the results.
    The ticket is a two part ticket just like the recepits you get at the store.
    The top copy goes into a lock box, the bottom copy is handed to the voter.
    Before handing in the ticket the voter examines the ticket to make sure it is correct.
    If in error the operator can cancel the vote on the machine and the voter makes corrections.
    If correct the operator finalizes t
  • accountability in voting will be a joke for the foreseeable future because it costs too much?
    Yeah, it'd cost some people their jobs.

  • What's so hard about installing a printer?

    What am I missing?

  • My Mailclad scheme uses simple random numbers and data bases to make an unbreakable system that allow for clear open auditing while still allowing voters anonymity.

    It's similar to the Autotote system used for betting on horse races and the way some Vegas slot machines print out cash vouchers, also Lotto tickets use a similar random serial number scheme.
    Heck even Mc Donald's Monopoly game pieces uses random serial numbers to ensure anti forgery to prevent cheaters.

    I have started a s
  • An election system is verifiable if the results of the election can be verified by counting the unalterable voter-verified records of the votes that were cast in that election.

    There is only one reason why any official might oppose requiring all elections systems to be verifiable. That reason is: That official wants to rig future elections.

    Those officials should be tried for treason and shot.

  • Is NIST any more independent than the other agencies (and their scientists) that have been pressured by the Administration to toe the Christian Right Republican Party Line?
  • ...just how much technological solutions can actually suck worse than old tried and true solutions? And I'm NOT a luddite, I love many different technologies. But I think electronic voting is something that can only work if it's done with no profit motive behind it. The machines and the work to make them SHOULD be completely free as part of civic duty on the part of individuals and businesses. Of course that will never happen because too many people have been brainwashed to think they can get rich by do
  • Hand Counting is Cheaper than Voting Machines [bolson.org], even if you pay 3 people to redundantly count every ballot. No technology required beyond pen and paper.
  • One pressure group is running a petition drive to ask the new Congressional leadership to require paper legally, rather than having us trust the wisdom and honesty of government agencies:
    http://www.democracyforamerica.com/paperballots [democracyforamerica.com]
  • Teachers call back NIST committee, they flunked the sixth grade. But NIST itself does many wonderful brainy things.

    As an IT person and as an election judge here in Texas here are my comments. I omit those of despair

    PARALLEL LOGIC. Voting electronics are PC embedded based (the ones I have seen boot up). Votes are precious. Lets assume the operations part of voting goes wacko clear down to the chip level. So create electronics based on outer space electronics. Copy each vote (time stamp and who voted for) to

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