Monday, November 20, 2006

Some more info on the e-Voting stuff....

Slashdot has a nice Q&A with Herbert H. Thompson, PhD. (Google search). It was a good read. Mr Thompson believes that the bigger problems aren't the muppets creating the software (tell me why someone would use an unsigned value in a voting system?) but in the people purchasing and using the systems not understanding the risks that are being allowed.

For example....
One glaring example of bad procedure is 'sleepovers', a practice where voting machines are sent home with poll workers before an election to make the process of transporting them to polling places on election day easier (see http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9002204 for some info on this). If one were dealing with a box to hold ballots, 'sleepovers' wouldn't be a problem because the morning of the election a group of poll workers could inspect the box and verify that it was empty (including the old false bottom trick; see 'Stuffer's ballot box' at http://americanhistory.si.edu/vote/paperballots.html). If election officials knew the risks of tampering with some of these electronic voting machines (just search Slashdot for 'e-voting' for examples) then a voting machine sleepover suddenly seems like a pretty bad idea.

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