[E-voting] Current state of evoting in Europe

Joseph Kiniry kiniry at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 19:34:15 GMT 2017

Hello all,

I'm happy to answer questions v-v the Presidential Election and our
analyses, work on recounts, etc.

I was on the team with Alex and Matt.  There are another 20+ of us working
on these matters.

Be assured, we know very well the various matters that have been brought up
in this recent thread.  Just because something was not discussed in the CCC
talk doesn't mean we didn't spend a significant amount of time on it.

We are now working on a few papers that will be submitted for peer-review.
Our primary goal now is to take what we have learned and work with
authorities to improve election law, policy, and operations for future
elections in America.

Now, to address Catherine's particular points below...

On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 8:25 PM, <cansbro at eircom.net> wrote:

> Interesting link.
> Much that's excellent, and much that gives me serious concern.
> Inaccuracies are repeated to the point of being disinformation. The
> statistical audit methodology recommended is based on false assumptions.

I'd love to hear the reasoning behind this statement.

> Why are these excellent researchers unaware of technical revelations
> published prior to the election?

Do you mean exclusively those you mention below, or something else?

> Why do these researchers mention election management systems, but fail to
> note the critical flaws in the central tabulators, which it is now known
> can be used to produce specific results in multiple precincts, counties,
> and states--with pinpoint precision (e.g. targeting only certain precincts,
> or certain demographics in a certain address range)?  This now-proven
> vulnerability has been used,  apparently for years. It was initially
> applied as an unauthorized "patch" to some central tabulators starting in
> 2001.

We are well aware of security problems and operational challenges with
tabulators, both central and precinct, mark sense and optical.

But given the context of this election, the only thing that we could
do/were permitted to do was hundreds of hours of analysis on reported
elections results down to the ward level (the finest granularity reported
in the USA).  We used a whole suite of standard electoral fraud analyses,
working directly with the best folks in the world who do this kind of thing
regularly for decades.

> The ability of election insiders (such as the 3rd-party contractors they
> mentioned, who administer elections) to have complete control to rig votes
> in ways that will not raise red flags has been proven.

We agree that such insider threats are a serious cause of concern.

> This method means the risk-reduction approach to auditing is completely
> ineffective--the speakers said their proposed audit approach assumes that
> any rigging would be applied to an entire county or state, as it would be
> too hard to rig individual machines.

The auditing approach that the elections integrity is recommending is Risk
Limiting Audits, which can work quite well in both a peanut butter spread
approach (as summarized in the talk, I believe), as well as in a staged,
geographically segmented approach (which is more complex, but can then
better mitigate the risks that you are focusing upon).  I suggest reading
Philip Stark's many papers on this topic so that you can better understand
the strengths and limitations of RLAs.

> This assumption is wrong and the proposed audit method is dangerous as it
> would be yet another confidence=promoting gesture, encouraging us to trust
> results that may have been rigged.

This is a wholly inaccurate statement.  Please read some of Philip's papers
first, then we can talk about the utility of RLAs.  I can provide a
prioritize list of papers, if you like, and even share a bibliography which
contains all of them of interest.

> See the "Fraction Magic" 6 short reports and digest the information there.
> THEN watch the Fraction Magic video.
> THEN read the articles on Audits and Recounts and related matters at
> blackboxvoting.org
> The situation is once again revealed to be far worse than we imagined.

I'm afraid that most of us are unconvinced of the Bev's recently claims wrt
these features in elections systems' use in subverting elections.  We can
talk about that in another thread if you like.


> Catherine
> ----- Original Message -----))
> > From: "Margaret McGaley" <mmcgaley at gmail.com>
> > To: "Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting" <e-voting at lists.stdlib.net>
> > Sent: Sunday, 1 January, 2017 16:24:20
> > Subject: Re: [E-voting] Current state of evoting in Europe
> > Thanks so much for all the replies. I'll give you updates on the thing
> > I'm writing soon I hope. In the meantime you might be interested in
> > this talk:
> >
> > https://media.ccc.de/v/33c3-8074-recount_2016_an_
> uninvited_security_audit_of_the_u_s_presidential_election
> >
> > On 16 December 2016 at 17:48, Margaret McGaley <mmcgaley at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> Hi all,
> >>
> >> I'm writing a thing, and I'm finding it hard to get up-to-date
> >> information on e-voting in Europe. I'm particularly interested in the
> >> current status of:
> >>
> >> Belgium
> >> Germany
> >> The Netherlands
> >> Estonia
> >> Switzerland
> >>
> >> Does anyone still subscribe to this list? And if so, does anyone know
> >> the latest on these (or any other) countries?
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >> Margaret
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > E-voting mailing list
> > E-voting at lists.stdlib.net
> > http://lists.stdlib.net/mailman/listinfo/e-voting
> > http://evoting.cs.may.ie/
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