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Linux-Based E-Voting In Brazil 302

Posted by kdawson
from the watch-and-learn-grasshopper dept.
John Sokol writes "I just heard from a good friend and Linux kernel hacker in Brazil that they have just finished their municipal election with 128 million people using Linux to vote. They voted nationwide for something like 5,000 city mayors. Voting is mandatory in Brazil. The embedded computer they are using once ran VirtuOS (a variant of MS-DOS); it now has its own locally developed, Linux-based distro. These are much nicer, smaller, and cheaper than the systems being deployed here in the US. Here is a Java-required site with a simulated Brazilian voting system. It's very cool; they even show you a picture of the candidate you voted for."
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Linux-Based E-Voting In Brazil

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  • by tomtomtom777 (1148633) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @05:41AM (#25283125) Homepage

    It's very cool; they even show you a picture of the candidate you voted for.

    Wow! Incredible! I never thought something like that would be possible with a computer!

    • Wow! Incredible! I never thought something like that would be possible with a computer!

      Wow! Incredible! I never thought something like that would be possible without a computer!

      There, fixed that for you. Speaking of fixing: Why fix something that ain't broken? Voting with Pen&Paper has worked for centuries, there is no need to fix anything.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:47AM (#25283517)

        Yeah, and I mean typewriters worked for ages without having to use Office software, we could go to the moon with a computer that was slower than a modern calculator, and speaking of voting didn't it work just as well without black people and women interfering?

        I tell ya, things used to be just perfect the way they were, progress just ruins society.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Not sure how this is a troll. It might be too sarcastic, but it points out how nonsensical "if it ain't broke don't fix it" comments are. There are plenty of things that aren't technically broken, but that still could be done a whole lot better.

          • still could be done a whole lot better.

            Better *for whom*?

            The people who need to validate the result of an election, or the people who need to manipulate the result?

             

            • by swillden (191260)

              still could be done a whole lot better.

              Better *for whom*?

              The people who need to validate the result of an election, or the people who need to manipulate the result?

              You forgot an important stakeholder: Better for the voters, to be able to quickly and easily cast a ballot for the candidates of their choice.

              Of course, electronic voting machines can make the system better for any of the above, depending on how they're designed and implemented.

      • Re:Science Fiction! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Keyper7 (1160079) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @07:00AM (#25283591)

        Brazilian cities were able to know the election results in the same day of voting, before midnight. That's pretty damn efficient.

        Furthermore, as fas as trusting or not trusting goes, voting with pen and paper is not as perfect [wikipedia.org] as one might think.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Ocker3 (1232550)
          the Type of pen and paper ballot you use is more important than the fact that you physically put pen to paper, imho. Can the winged ballot (resulting in the chad problem) really be called pen and paper? You're not writing anything. Blowing our national horn here, but Australia invented the Secret Ballot system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_ballot) back in the 1800s, and everyone else quickly followed suite. We also have a system of very fiercely independent vote counters, a critical cornerstone of t
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by digitalchinky (650880)

            I remember signing on to the electoral roll in Canberra somewhere back in the very early 90's. A few weeks later I received a letter from the commission saying after an investigation I no longer lived where I said I did so they have removed me from their list. I'm thinking I live on a Navy base, I have no hope of being posted anywhere for a few years, so, er, WTF? What investigation?

            I wrote back and asked WTF? They replied to the same Canberra address I enrolled with and said you don't live there any longer

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @08:19AM (#25284125)

          Brazilian cities were able to know the election results in the same day of voting, before midnight. That's pretty damn efficient.

          That's nothing, here on Argentina, we're able to know the election results months before voting. God bless democracy!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Brazilian cities were able to know the election results in the same day of voting, before midnight.

          You mean:

          Brazilian mayors were able to rig the election results in the same day of voting, before midnight.

        • by clickety6 (141178)

          So what?

          There are lots of countries that know the election results the day before voting!

          Beat that for efficiency!

        • by TheLink (130905)
          So what? The more voters you have, the more human counters you can have.

          You can get election results the same day of voting if you want, but why is it so important?

          Pen and paper is not perfect, but I've worked in IT security and I KNOW how computers work and I'll tell you this: It's a LOT easier to cheat with computers.

          Compare:
          How easy is it to print thousands of fake votes and sneak them into the various polling centers, destroy the real votes, ALL without getting detected.

          vs:

          Tampering with the programs/re
        • by houghi (78078) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @09:55AM (#25285413)

          I trust a paper more then some bits. Can you abuse it and do forgery? Yes, but with paper it is much harder. Try changing my vote on a piece of paper. Then try changing some bits in a PC. Now tell me which one will be noticed first.

          This is not about if paper is perfect. It is about if it is closer to perfection then a computer and it is.

          The goal is not speed.

        • Brazilian cities were able to know the election results in the same day of voting, before midnight.

          // To do: insert Soviet Russia joke here.

      • Re:Science Fiction! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bogado (25959) <bogado@@@bogado...net> on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @07:04AM (#25283617) Homepage Journal

        It has worked? I am not so sure about that, for an election to work it has to be void of frauds and offer some guaranties to the electors, like anonymity. Election are not a simple problem, in fact is a very hard one.

        The elections on Brazil seem to work fine, in fact many of the "left" parties (Brazil has many political parties) felt their numbers get better after the electronic voting was installed. But the system, as it is now, gives no warranty on how the votes are counted, you have to trust it is working and has not been tampered and as far as I know the code and designs of the voting machines are not open for review by the population.

        I trust that the system work, it has shown consistent numbers with the election day pools and as I said the system has been show to give results that are bad for the current government, that is the one witch could more easily tamper with the election, several times.

        • by saibot834 (1061528) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @07:20AM (#25283691) Homepage

          I trust that the system work

          That's fine for you, but one principal of a democracy is that the vote is open and transparent. When there's a vote, I can go to the voting place and control that the process works fine. I can verify almost everything important first hand (at least in Germany, where I live). With voting machines, only a few people in the whole world can control the system. Even if the software is free, there are only few people who understand the source code and can verify it. The vote is _not_ transparent.

          Oh, and don't tell me that voting machines are unhackable. Here [youtube.com] you can see a voting machine being hacked in 60 sec.

          So, you have vs. .
          I agree, that elections are not a simple problem, but pen&paper is a simple solution and at the moment the best.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by partenon (749418)

            Even though I don't think that "our" (I'm Brazilian) voting machine could be much better, I don't think that paper+pen works better.

            In the past, when candidate A was part of the government, there used to be a lot of "accidents" with the vehicles carrying the voting papers from locations on which candidate B was known to have a good number of votes.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TheLink (130905)
              With pen and paper the accidents need to be a lot bigger and widespread. You need many accidents.

              With electronic voting, you only need one accident. All you need is for someone to accidentally insert a thumbdrive. Or accidentally press the "demo key sequence".

              It's so much easier to cheat with electonic voting.

              Printing thousands of fake paper votes and moving them into the right locations can be done, but it is a lot more work than cheating with electronic voting.

              Even if the source code is validated, the res
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bogado (25959)

            While I agree that our election is far from perfect, I don't think that pen & paper is the best solution. It introduces many more places where it can be frauded, the accounting, false ballots and much more. A unified electronic voting has many advantages and can be made more safe by adding cryptographic receipts, for instance.

            I know that electronic voting can be hacked, but if you raise the bar too high it start to get impractical hacking. Compromising single units can be easy, but if it can be detected

          • by protomala (551662)
            "but pen&paper is a simple solution and at the moment the best." So you do not know how thing "worked" when Brazil used paper voting. If not perfect, the electronic voting is AGES better than what we had before.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by marcosdumay (620877)

          "I trust that the system work"

          I trust it to work better than the old paper one, but the eletronic system is getting less trustworth on every election. The first version of it used a small embbebed system, with no OS, then it changed to a closed OS, then it changed to Linux (ok, better than the closed OS). It's system was entirely (hardware and softwre) verified by several specialists choosed by a transparent process, then comes the closed OS, that can't be verified, and suddenly the transparent process cha

        • The elections on Brazil seem to work fine, in fact many of the "left" parties (Brazil has many political parties) felt their numbers get better after the electronic voting was installed
          (...)
          as I said the system has been show to give results that are bad for the current government, that is the one witch could more easily tamper with the election, several times..

          Huh? The current government is left...
          Lula's Worker's Party [wikipedia.org] is partly center-left (regarding the economy) and partly far-left (international relations - befriending Hugo Chavez, Evo Moralez, Fidel Castro and claiming that FARC are not terrorists - and relations with armed groups such as the Landless Rural Workers Movement [wikipedia.org] and the Poor Peasant League, which are currently allowed to impose their ideology by force [wikipedia.org], such as seizing the property of land owners that said movements judge as being too rich, destroy

          • by bogado (25959)

            Yes the current government is left, but when it was elected the government were from right and we were already using the same electronic voting as today. Also, after the presidential election there were already other election, state elections, that were won by right wing people (mainly after the scandals you cited).

            Sure if compared to the US we are very left indeed.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @07:45AM (#25283853) Homepage

      Problem is it's too complicated for american voters. Punching a hole in next to a name was too complicated. typing in a 2-4 digit code? are you MAD??

      Expecting Americans to have that level of ability is ridiculous. It's why Diebold is designing systems that are far easier to use. you go and vote, and it registers the vote they think you should have voted.

      It's far more accurate and eliminates problems.

      • It uses a numeric code because some people can't read. It was made easier to use than the paper ballot.
      • by Nullav (1053766)

        Problem is it's too complicated for american voters. Punching a hole in next to a name was too complicated. typing in a 2-4 digit code? are you MAD??

        Problem is, such people are allowed to vote. I realize that the right to vote is vital to a nations upkeep, but would you really trust that to people unable to remember and input four digits? I'm not suggesting we disenfranchise people we don't disagree with, just those who take voting lightly enough to 'oops' a candidate into office.

        (Incoming downmods in 4...3...2...)

        • by Nullav (1053766)

          I'll just go ahead and put a post-it somewhere to remind me not to post before having coffee.

  • ...is that Carmen Miranda is one of the senatorial candidates! Nice pic, too!
  • Now where is the link to the source code and how can I verify that it is the code that was really running on the machines?
    • OMG. I just read the wiki. You have got to be kidding me, you think this is a good thing?
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

      by agoliveira (188870) <adilson@adilsonEULER.net minus math_god> on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:32AM (#25283439)

      Now where is the link to the source code and how can I verify that it is the code that was really running on the machines?

      As a matter of fact, contrary to what Wikipedia says, the source code *is* available. The Ministério PÃblico (something like the public prosecutor in US), the OAB - Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, an organ that congregates all lawyers in the country and any of the political parties can have access not only to the source code but to the compilation, digital signing and installation process. They also can run simulations and test the system for security and fraud and request any ballot to be audited. The whole software and data is also available for 2 years after the election. During the election days, representatives of any party can stay at any polling station to be sure that the election is not being rigged in this point. Personally, I think our system is quite secure and would require a major conspiracy involving basically everyone.

      • by partenon (749418)

        You forgot to say some things:

        1) Diebold is the hardware provider.
        2) The source code for VirtuOS is not available. As TFA suggests, it'll be fixed in the future.
        3) There's no paper trail. Then, you *have* to trust what the machine says.
        4) New *improved* machines were tested in three cities. These improved machines have "biometric recognition" [globo.com] of the voters. Aren't you scared of being identified in the same machine you are using to put your vote?
        5) In some remote locations [brasilportais.com.br], a notebook + special hardware poin

        • I suggest you check your facts a little more carefully.
          1) Yes, Diebold provides the hardware but just because Diebold bought Procomp. The hardware was developed here and also can be audited.
          2) The machines are running linux now.
          3) There's no paper trail for all the machines but a percentage of them have it and they are randomly distributed.
          4) I don't like that either but anyway you have to identify yourself when you are going to vote so you are already identified anyway.
          5) Yes, it's a weeker point indeed bu

          • I suggest you check your facts a little more carefully. 3) There's no paper trail for all the machines but a percentage of them have it and they are randomly distributed.

            AFAIK, every single ballot leaves a paper trail at the end of the election. These are distributed to the parties as soon as printed, and in fact most of them already had a good idea of the results long before the official results come out.

            • I was talking about the printing of the individual votes. In this case only a percentage of the machines have it but you are right. The summary of the ballots are done automatically once the closing time is achieved.

  • I mean really , Linux getting used for some large public function might have been news back in 1998 , but whats the big deal in 2008? Some stories about some unusual OS's being used in unusual situations , say CP/M still controlling a nuclear reactor , now THAT would be interesting. Linux gets used in voting system? ZZZzzzz......

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Exanon (1277926)
      I believe it is of interest due to the US election coming up soon, the use of voting machines with closed source on those machines and the tampering discussion.

      Now, of course you could modify a linux machine as well, but with a potential army of hackers the security risks are handled much like the security in Linux: Assuming that for every one hacker that is malicious there is usually one or at least two that spot a problem and bring it to light.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jellomizer (103300)

      say CP/M still controlling a nuclear reactor , now THAT would be interesting.
      Why... It is probably more common then you think. In the US Nuclear Plants are aging and the Liberal Hippies will not fund to keep them up to date, as Nuclear is Bad OK. It is actually quite common to see old computers running Nuclear systems. As they have work for decades and there is no reason to risk a new system that may have problems.

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @05:58AM (#25283217) Journal

    We have web based banking. Why not web based voting?

    If anyone thinks I care more about who I vote for than the money in my bank accounts (and my liability for debt) they're disillusional. The politicians are all just different monkeys screeching different things that suit them. In the last election I voted for (mandatory council elections) I didn't know or care about the candidates who'd only shown their faces 2 weeks beforehand. On the ballot I wrote "Fuck them liars all. This form of democrasy a joke". Am I the only one that thinks it's hilarious that we can bank online but not vote online?

    • by meringuoid (568297) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:14AM (#25283317)
      We have web based banking. Why not web based voting?

      Risk of fraud. Under the current system I can't go out and bribe, blackmail or threaten voters, because I have no way of determining whether or not they voted as I asked. 'Vote for X or I break your legs' doesn't work if I cannot find out whether or not any given person actually did vote for X. But while you can take steps to ensure that the polling booth is private, you can't say the same for an internet terminal whose location you do not know and whose configuration you do not control. For all you know the voter's boss is watching him as he votes for the candidate who will restrict workers' rights and remove regulations on abusive bosses.

      The moment there's a way a person can prove who they voted for to a third party, the secret ballot is dead.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:18AM (#25283345)

      Actually, in Estonia, there has been web-based elections a year ago. The national ID card has PKI certificates in it and this cryptographically makes it safe. There's more information on the net, ie
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_voting_in_Estonia

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by the_one(2) (1117139)

        that means that the vote isn't anonymous right?

      • by pipatron (966506)

        Cryptographically safe, yes, but that's just one of the issues. Another issue is that there has to be a way keep your choice secret for *everyone*, even to lie about who you vote. Otherwise someone can force you to vote for one party, either by paying you money or by threatening to do bad things to you (lose your job, membership in a club, shoot you, whatever).

        If you can vote from any computer, your employer could threaten you to make you vote from the office computer, and watch you do it. Cryptographically

        • by TheLink (130905)
          "your employer could threaten you to make you vote from the office computer, and watch you do it. "

          Sure you could also have a law that makes that illegal right? So all you have to do is record the incident and voila employer is in jail for a very long time.

          If the country doesn't take that law seriously, I think you're in bigger trouble than the lack of anonymous voting.

          In practical terms the lack of anonymous voting is no big deal. By the time it becomes a problem, the other problems are far more serious.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:29AM (#25283413) Journal
      The difference is that you trust your bank with your money. You trust they will not steal from you and protect your privacy. You can check that they are not stealing from you.

      If you vote on a third party website, you'll trust it with your votes, and its secrecy but, contrary to banks, you will have no way of checking that your vote is correctly accounted for.
      • by QuantumG (50515) *

        You trust your bank? You trust bankers? Have you not being paying attention lately?

        I think the reason why you use banks is similar to the reason why you use Windows.. you have to swim up stream not to.

      • by srjh (1316705)

        Isn't this just a technological problem, though?

        I know proving that your vote actually counted without compromising anonymity isn't trivial, but what if you (for example) are given a randomly generated key after voting? After the election, they can publish the keys assigned for every vote, and you can check that your key matches your vote.

        Of course, fraud can occur if they assign the same key to multiple voters, but people can voluntarily compare keys after the election to look for clashes. Or maybe some fo

        • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @08:30AM (#25284269) Journal
          There are three problems that must be tackled by voting syst m :
          1. Anonymity of vote (nobody can tell who I voted for)
          2. No third party of trust (I do not need to trust anyone, especially thos organizing the election)
          3. Trust of count (The votes are correctly counted and totalled)

          There are surprisingly little literature around cryptographic system designed to solve these three problems. All the electronic voting system that I am aware of rely on the revocation of one of these properties.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      I think it's hilarious that you don't seem able to even spell democracy any better than you understand it. If you don't care about the election then stfu about the outcome of it.

      If you want to vote online then find a candidate who feels the same way about it as you and vote for them. Or run in the election yourself.

      Whatever you do though, don't whine on slashdot about it!

    • You are exactly right and a bit wrong.
      The difference between online banking and online voting has some bit differences.
      First there is FDIC for most online banking so if someone hacks into your bank (If you ever did a netcraft what is that site running on your bank, I am sure you will be mortified) you are covered. As well you have legal recourse you can sue your bank for damages for anything loss due to sloppy IT... Which Banks are famous for. Also there is competition, I know this not popular right now to

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Isao (153092)
      Why not web based voting?

      Because banking and voting are different problems. Banking requires accountability (non-repudiation), voting anonymity. There are solutions for both, but anonymous electronic voting that's verifiable while being untraceable is so far unimplemented.

      The flexibility and usefulness of paper voting continues to be underrated in these discussions.

    • Running a fair election is not a simple problem. To make sure the voter is legitimate, we must be able to prove their identity. But when it comes to actually casting the vote, we must not be able to know how they voted.

      One solution to this dilemma is to require people to physically show up and prove who they are, and then have them cast a secret ballot while they are sequestered in the same room where they proved their identity.

      The reason online banking works is because your transactions never need to be

  • by what about (730877) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:03AM (#25283245) Homepage

    This is great

    • Licence money saved (even small ones)
    • No forced obsolescence of machine by "technology enhancements" and upgrades
    • No locking down of SW because some source "trade secrets" or "company secrets"
    • Possibly produced localy and therefore good for the economy. (I do not think we should buy everything from china)

    I do really miss a paper trail, that is needed in case there are doubts of "fraud", we do not want such doubts, do we ?

  • by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:06AM (#25283277)

    How un-American. Oh wait...

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I think it'd be better if voting were mandatory. Even if you vote "fuck the world", vote.

  • You can vote for Carmen Miranda for president!

    Hurray for the party of music and fruity hats!

  • IT is a trap ! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:23AM (#25283367) Journal
    Open sourcing the software changes nothing to the fact that it is impossible to check how the votes are tallied. It just takes two bytes change in the binary to reverse the results of an election. In a world where the task of counting votes can be done by a machine small enough to fit into a smart card, you'll never be sure that the code published is the code running if you don't want to trust the officials organizing the vote.

    This is a step back from paper ballots.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by arielCo (995647)
      That (the issue of trust) is exactly what happened in Venezuela not long ago - besides the government refusing to make the code available for inspection, when the opposition cried foul and insisted in auditing random machines+boxes, the government was adamant about using the random sample generator provided by... ahem... the government. I really won't say that there was a fraud, but trust was seriously undermined from there on.
      Please don't ask me for a quotation, this is not Wikipedia. Go Google.
  • Smaller,nicer and cheap != more secure.

    I fail to see where this is better security wise than the Diebold boxes. I love linux, I prefer linux (though I mostly use OS X these days) but just because it runs linux, does not make it better.

    And web based voting? Seriously? You are just BEGGING for fraud with that.

  • Voting in the US using commercially developed machines: Evil! Unreliable! What is the world coming to! US elections unfair! Dictatorship coming soon!

    Voting in Brasil using open source el cheapo machines: Profit!! Democratic wonder! Fantastic solution! US could learn from this!

    How do you mean, Slashdot is biased..

  • I don't trust electronic voting, no matter what runs on the machine.

  • Void Vote (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tuqui (96668) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @06:40AM (#25283475) Homepage

    You can vote blank or null vote with that machine. That's good, but I really
    want to write %#%@%$!! in the ballot sometimes.

  • The hardware apparently doesn't include a printer, so there's no paper ballot. And the voting software itself isn't open. The fact that the underlying OS is Linux is almost irrelevant.

  • So the plus is that it runs Linux? How about the minuses?

    . No voter-verifiable receipt
    . No code auditing by the general public (only by the political parties, which is a small step-up from the U.S.)
    . Process flow problems allowing voter fraud or deception.
    . Recounts not possible.
    . Vote-stealing possible by poll-workers.

    Diebold is a vendor in this system. Interesting that having the opportunity for a complete system rewrite (moving to Linux) didn't eliminate the same design flaws inherent in their o

  • I work at the polls here in Virginia, and we have an electronic voting machine. Here's my review of the Brazilian device compared to ours:

    • No touch screen on the Brazilian box, just a key pad. This is a great feature. Touch screens are not that easy for elderly people to use. They are unfamiliar with the concept, and, worse, tend to lean on the screen for support, causing the mouse pointer to jump all over the place. Simpler would be better, and a keypad is much more universally recognized.
       
    • 20 hour battery life on the Brazilian box. Having a battery that can last for the entire voting period means that even in the event of a complete power failure, the vote can go on. A great feature. We have battery back-up on our machines, but they last only 2-3 hours.
       
    • The Brazilian box looks much more rugged that our machines. I bet they could take a drop onto the floor. Our machines are not bad for PCs, but there's no way they would survive a fall.
       
    • Lower cost. The Brazilian box costs $1000; ours cost $5000. Lower cost means more machines.
       
    • I couldn't tell how the ballot is entered on the machine, but it doesn't look like they use a PC Card to load the ballot each time, the ballot is loaded just once, and then voters vote. I've never liked using the card readers; if they get misaligned, you have to swipe the cards "just so". If a swipe fails, the vote has to be voided. If the swipe failure causes a hardware lock, the machine has to be rebooted. If the machine gets rebooted too many times, we have to take it out of circulation. A lot of potential trouble caused by a simple I/O device! Better to be without it.
       
    • Neither the Brazilian box nor mine is truly auditable. Ours at least has a paper tally report that gets printed at the end, so one could trace the tally on the flash drives to a tape. But there's no way to do a human recount on either machine. I have some heartburn over this, but with good voter registration controls, there are cross-checks that can be done to lower the security profile considerably. For example, we keep a paper tally of the number of voters, and each hour we cross-check the paper tally against the machines. If the machines show a different headcount than the paper, we investigate immediately. In my experience, the fault has so far always been on the human, paper side (but I'm relatively new at this.)

    In any event, I think SL geeks are obvious choices to volunteer to be Officers of Election. We know the vulnerabilities of the technology, and have the necessary attention to detail to appreciate the kinds of auditing checks that need to be done to run a fair and open election.

  • by Brazilian Joe (514100) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @08:42AM (#25284393)

    Some people who work during the elections are volunteers. while others are drafted by the Superior Electoral Tribunal. You can still not go there and do your job as long as you have a strong justification (like not being in the city you vote on the day of election). There is no voting 'in transit' i.e. voting in another city, or in any other 'electoral college' besides your own.

    As a compensation, you get a 'lunch ticket' and a letter which entitles you a 1-day off so you can compensate your day working on the Sunday election (just give the letter to your employer, he cannot refuse you the day off, it's part of the electoral law)

    By 5:00 PM, no one else can vote. If there is a line, people are given numbers ad only those with numbers in line can cast their votes.

    once the last voters finish, the voting system is set to 'closed', meaning no more votes can be computed. at least three paper trails are generated, for three of the people in charge of the voting table. Any one can go there and ask for an extra paper trail, such as me and you. usually, a few people ask for additional paper trails on behalf of their own parties. You can check the paper trail gainst the voters registered for that college, to see if there are any irregularities.

    Potentially, a parallel vote counting can be set up, completely contolled by the population, just using the paper trails generated at the end of the election.

    The president of the table then takes the machine to the Electoral Tribunal and there they pick up the internal data and do the vote counting.

    IMO it's reasonably resistent to tampering, and allow for parallel counting, which makes it resistent to frauds. Yeah, being open source would help for sure, and setting up a country-wide parallel vote counting would be very hard, but it is possible.

    I believe the U.S. should just license our technology and be happy with it ;-)

  • No paper trail to allow audits. No source code available (that I know off, at least). No guarantee that the binaries loaded on the machines were built from the source inspectors looked (?) at.

    It would be nice if people held this at the same "bashing level" anything from Diebold is held; because, really, it's not that different, the way I see it.

    Cheers

    PS: not implying that was any fraud here, it seems like there wasn't. I'm just said that the current machinery do not allow you to prove it by auditing the r

  • you put votes in, out comes sausage. how does the machine turn votes into sausage? i don't know, i can't look inside, its not transparent

    voters in the poorest nation in the world, and voters in the richest, should all use paper ballots. end of debate

    because its TRANSPARENT

    it does a rich society no benefit to advance beyond transparency, and any, ANY electronic voting machine does exactly that. the rich country can use ocr for quicker tallying

    what is the reason for electronic voting? what is saved? the nes m

  • Some patients of mine work with the elections in Brazil. Being a slashdot guy for a while I am always asking them questions about the voting system. What I have learned: # the code is available in advance for the parties OPEN SOURCE (only not online) # the software/firmware is loaded on the machines in front of the parties # the machine has no open slots for the outside world # it is sealed tamper free with a special seal that solf destroys once openned. # the is a hash code to ensure the validity o

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