[E-voting] Not random enough?

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Mon Mar 15 17:50:22 GMT 2004


Adrian Colley <aecolley at spamcop.net> wrote:
>
> On Mon, Mar 15, 2004 at 12:43:26PM -0000, Aengus Lawlor wrote:
>> Adrian Colley <aecolley at spamcop.net> wrote:
>>> A new thing is that I looked at the PTB's evaluation of the random
>>> placement of ballot records within the ballot module.  It _isn't_
>>> random enough.
>>
>> Can you expand on that a bit, Adrian?
>
> Sure.  On pages 40 and 41 of the PTB "Test report 2 - Voting machine
> ESI2 - Software for elections in Ireland"
>
http://www.electronicvoting.ie/pdf/PTB%20test%20rpt%202%20-%20sept03.pdf
> it says:
>
> ptb> 8.8-1   The votes should be stored randomly in the ballot module.
>
> ptb> MB: The votes are stored in the vote memory of the ballot module
> ptb> using a timer-based method ....
>
> ptb> The timer used to generate the random place and the random
> ptb> decision  is initialised during start-up tests and then increased
> ptb> every 8 msec.  When the first vote is stored, the timer is read
> ptb> out to select the place.  The timer can be thought of as a
> ptb> "pointer" pointing to the middle part of the vote memory.  It
> ptb> points to the beginning of the middle part when the machine is
> ptb> started and advances to the next memory place every 8 msec.  It
> ptb> reaches the end after 16 sec and starts again at the beginning.

I see the point you're making, but I'm not quite sure I would have
interpreted the PTB report in the same way. The fact that it says that
it cycles through the whole memory module in 16 seconds suggests
something else to me, but without a lot more data, which the Government
is unwilling to provide, your scenario certainly makes uncomfortable
reading.

> ptb> Since the first vote is unknown, all votes cannot be associated
> ptb> to certain voters.

Apparently, PTB aren't particularly familiar with PR-STV ballots!

Aengus





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