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Voting machine security - Exactly!!! - Journal of Omnifarious

Aug. 15th, 2008

02:29 pm - Voting machine security - Exactly!!!

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This xkcd cartoon has the perfect analogy!

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From:oniaka
Date:August 15th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
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I am still trying to figure out why we felt we NEEDED to computerize this all to begin with. I think the mechanical way is better. I would actually be fine with paper ballots in boxes.
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From:omnifarious
Date:August 15th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)

Well, the promise was...

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Basically, cheaper and more accurate vote counting. One promise fulfilled, the other definitely not. Voting machines, as they currently stand, are much more open to fraud.



Edited at 2008-08-15 10:20 pm (UTC)
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From:leora
Date:August 15th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Blind people would like to be allowed to vote with a secret ballot. For that matter, so would people with other disabilities. The disabled are not currently guaranteed the right to a secret ballot. They do get a vote, but in some places the only way they can vote is by telling someone else their vote and having that person vote it for them. The machines are much more disability friendly and if we put them into locations that are wheelchair-accessible it may just let all voters share the ability to have a secret ballot.

I do support that goal... just not at the price of giving up a fair election. I think we should be able to do both. It sucks that they want to make it either or.
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From:omnifarious
Date:August 16th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)

Accessibility argument

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That's a good argument for them as well. And I also agree that isn't worth unfair elections as the price.

We should be able to do both. I know that with a few hundred thousand in startup capital and a couple of really good engineers who knew hardware that I could make voting machines and a few other associated devices that were significantly better than the existing stuff.

Voting machines are one place where I can see 'trusted' computing actually being useful. I would design it such that the vote counts were clearly invalid if the software wasn't the official version. And the official version would have the signed binary published as well as the associated source code.



Edited at 2008-08-16 02:42 am (UTC)
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From:hattifattener
Date:August 16th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
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Because more shiny and blinky is more better!!1!!

Srsly, though, leora's explanation is what I've heard, too. Though, I bet the "shiny" explanation is nonnegligible also: in many areas (paying for things, writing letters, getting news) we've largely done away with paper in favor of electronic substitutes, and these seem to be generally an improvement on their predecessors, so why should voting be any different?

I actually think that electronic voting could be as good as paper voting, if the people implementing it really wanted it to be.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 16th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
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I have just been bothered lately by everyone wanting things better than what they are, when there is nothing wrong with the way they are now.

I mean, how many features do you NEED on a cell phone anyways? My cell phone users manual is half an inch thick. I will never use even HALF of the features on my cell phone. Bare in mind this is just ONE example.
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