[E-voting] Today's Irish Times

Robert Cochran rcochran at catalyst.ie
Thu Jul 13 11:40:57 IST 2006


> From The Irish Times today (13th July):
> 
> Experts sought on electronic voting
> 
> Mark Hennessy
> 13/07/2006
> 
> International experts are to be drafted in by the Government to offer 
> advice about the changes needed to improve the security of electronic 
> vote counting software.

Two things in particular are worrying about this.

1. There is no mention of the CEV proposals for rectifying the problems 
with the machines, or of providing anything in the direction of VVAT

2. It is not clear that their proposal is to totally scrap the counting software 
and start again, which is essential if they are going down this road. 
References to making changes, supervising changes, etc are particularly 
worrying. It is essential that we stress that the count software can't just be 
fixed up, but will need to be written again from scratch. And. to repeat what 
I said in a posting a little while back:-

I think we also need to state clearly that when the count software is being 
redeveloped, then
(a) the tendering process must be transparent 

(at least to ensure public confidence that the selected company has a clear 
track record of building high quality secure systems with best practice 
development processes; and that the tender request specifies those 
aspects)

(b) the system requirements spec AND the source code should both be 
released to open peer review, in order to ensure trust in the system 

(by open review, I don't mean open source - which would be politically 
unacceptable I imagine - rather than they are made available for inspection 
by anyone, and a public change control process put in place to deal with 
any necessary suggested changes which arise from that)


Robert




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