[E-voting] Submissions to independent panel/John Lambe's application

Paul Gargan gargans at iol.ie
Fri Mar 12 18:39:45 GMT 2004

Michael McGrath wrote:
> For that reason I again recommend, with his permission,
 > distributing John Lambe's application widely through e-mail.

Anyone who is a regular email user will be aware of how fallible 
computers are, so you may be preaching to the converted.

Plus, unless they understand the idea behind the demonstration, they may 
end up thinking "A program that was designed to not work doesn't work. 
So what?" whereas John's code was designed to show the effects of an 
accidental error

Also, and I hope list members don't mind the digression, don't go 
sending people EXEs over email. It's bad practice to enccourage users to 
open executeable attachments. And bad for bandwidth too. If you must, 
send them a link to the page. That way they'll get to see the 
accompanying explanation.

> Let's aim for the what Americans call the water-cooler conversation
 > do people actually converse at "the Ballygowan machine") of
 > got this e-mail today which shows how easy it is to rig
 > electronic voting".

Hmmm, but that's creating a mindset that deliberate rigging is the main 
danger - it may or may not be, but if that's perceived to be our main 
argument, we can get dismissed as a bunch of raving conspiracy 
theorists. VVAT is required to protect against accidental *and* 
deliberate tampering; however for the purposes of convincing the public 
I don't think we should over-emphasise the deliberate tampering angle.

As for water cooling, why not try a verbal approach? Preach to your 
colleagues, friends, relatives, neighbours, etc. A nice tactic I found 
is to neutrally ask them what their opinions are before you start your 
sermon. That way you can get an idea of what impact the existing 
publicity is having.


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