[E-voting] Compulsory voting

Fergal Daly fergal at esatclear.ie
Sat Sep 10 23:42:26 IST 2005


On 9/10/05, Craig Burton <caburt at alphalink.com.au> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> David GLAUDE wrote:
> 
> >I think the argument of fighting random bug (cosmic ray alike) is much
> >stronger than fighting fraud in the black box.
> >
> >
> Well I'm sure there are random human errors introduced in counting
> votes, especially PR ones. I think if your method of attack on e-voting
> machines only concerns their reliability as general computers you are
> taking on rather a lot of computers.


2 things:

1 Errors in counting paper votes are almost always on the order of single 
votes and even when multiple errors occur they are very unlikely to 
accumulate in one particular direction. The "distance" between humand 
counted votes and actually cast votes is at most equal to the number of 
errors but is likely to be smaller.

Contrast to computers where the whole system is highly non-linear small 
errors in the input or processing can result in arbitrarily large errors in 
the result - a single bit flip caused 4096 extra votes in Belgium.

2 The fact that the counting process is observed by multiple parties with 
conflicting goals means that errors are unlikely and that each recount 
(which is not a full count but actually a check that the bundles are 
correct) will tend to bring the human counted result closer to the correct 
result (assuming it wasn't there already).

The counting process for EV is unobservable.

All the aside, the bigger problem with EV is the vote recording process,

F
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