[E-voting] details about ClearVoting

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Thu Aug 30 13:07:09 IST 2007

Colm: ". . . what you are proposing is essentially pointless."

For sure.  There have been so many problems with scanners in the USA, 
and also with the tabulators used to add up the results from the 
individual scanners.

Even the paper can be used as an attack vector, and also the type of 
pens that are put out.  (Some scanners will only record votes accurately 
if certain kinds of pens are used; to disenfranchise all you need to do 
is put some of the wrong kinds of pens in some voting booths in some 
polling places.  This could easily be done yet there'd be no way you 
could ever prove it was deliberate.  And it could also happen as a 
genuine accident.)

See also Dan Rather's recent 2-part documentary; the second part deals 
with how a lower-grade paper was mysteriously used in the 2000 
presidential election--punch cards in FL.  The voting company employees 
kept complaining to the company about the malfunctions, but their 
concerns were ignored.  The bad paper was used, and then existing 
samples of it (and the paperwork about the specs) were destroyed.

The more time goes by, the more attack vectors float to the 
surface--complete with smoking guns, destruction of evidence, and/or 
puzzling lack of willingness by law enforcement or justice officials to 
investigate or prosecute obvious anomalies.

Any election system that--
--increases the number of attack vectors
--or decreases the chances of discovery of errors (whether accidental, 
deliberate, or due to incompetence)
--or increases the number of votes that could be affected by a 
successful exploit
--or makes the voter do extra steps (e.g. verify a ballot)

--is a bad idea IMO.

I didn't think of these things as necessarily being big problems in the 
past.  I've changed my mind as I have kept up with new information 
coming to light in the USA and other research.


Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 30, 2007 at 12:19:34PM +0200, emanuele lombardi wrote:
>> 3) Voters need to trust the software that counts their votes. Of course
>> voters may have no competence to verify the software, but parties and
>> organizations have it. I'm sure we agree that party representatives must
>> carefully watch voting operations whichever the media and the technology.
>> Thus they will be present in any polling room even at the opening of
>> election when the software is installed booting kiosks from the media that
>> has been officially distributed by the Authority (central or local). 
> Unless you allow opposing parties with conflicting interests to scan the
> VVPB's for themselves , which is a logisticial nightmare, what you
> are proposing is essentially pointless.

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