[Fwd: Re: [E-voting] About Estonian e-voting]

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Mon Oct 24 15:24:28 IST 2005

VVAT is full of holes, unless 100% of the ballots are counted by hand 
after each election--and even this has its risks.

1) There are legal problems--VVAT is only as good as the laws requiring 
that the paper ballots be counted by hand.  Experience elsewhere has 
shown that this can be VERY problemmatical.  There's no point 
considering VVAT without simultaneously considering companion legislation.
2) There are sociological problems--over time, with no difference in 
results, there could be a tendency to get sloppy about the hand count, 
creating pressure to do away with the obligatory hand count.  Since 
there would be reliance on the early "electronic" results, the quality 
and quanity of public oversight of the hand counting would be severely 
3) Counting a "statistically relevant" sample (whether 1%, 3% or 10%) 
does not assure detection of tampering.  Unlike accidental "mistakes" or 
"glitches," hacking is not a random event that is necessarily likely to 
be spread evenly.  It opens up other attacks, depending on insider 
affiliation (and potential ability to control how the sample is 
chosen).  Changing a very small number of votes can be enough to change 
an election result.  Our election officials have already shown 
willingness to ignore even large discrepancies.


>>>>The real risks can be managed. 
>>>Absolutely, and VVAT is still the only convincing and practical
>>>risk-management strategy I've seen. 
>>For DREs, and I assume you mean paper VVATs.  Sure, the machines are
>>too closed, too close to the providers.  The software is monolithic.
>>VVAT is a stop-gap, however.  The DRE systems need to be
>>re-implemented to include VVAT.
>No, VVAT is only convincing and practica risk-management strategy I've
>seen. For any system, and it's no stop-gap. The laws of computation are
>not going to change. Neither are humans going to develop the
>perceptability to observe microscopic nano-second level phenomena. It's
>an end game.

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