READER COMMENTS ON
"'Daily Voting News' For April 21 - 22, 2007"
(6 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 4/22/2007 @ 6:07 pm PT...
It was sad to hear that the african american woman who was chair of the House Committee on Administration has died of cancer.
She didn't even have time to get the website up to date, having many pressing issues to take care of.
One of which was HR 811 and eventually the morphing of S 559 with HR 811 into a singularity. You know, the bicameral congress thing we do.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2007 @ 8:25 am PT...
John, you point out that "there is mounting evidence suggesting that touch-screen machines present a far graver threat".
Some bank ATM machines are "touch-screen" and some are not. Yet there is the saying safe as an ATM, and it is a valid term for either type. They are secure.
I don't know of any studies or reports that show touch screen ATM's are less safe than the keyboard types.
The real difference in the two types (excluding the obvious graphics) is the way the queue / buffer is routed and the way the user's input is placed into the queue / buffer for interpretation.
There is no inherent loss of security by the mere use of screen to queue / buffer instead of a keyboard to queue / buffer pathway.
With EVM's the security problem is not being able to examine the source code to see what is happening with the queue / buffer data, once it has been input.
Where it goes and how it is used is the area of security interest ... not whether the data is read from the screen or from a keyboard before being used.
When we can look at the souce code, which HR 811 and S 559 mandate, then we will know where any monkey business or security flaws exist.
And those bills mandate the release of the source code "to any person" who asks. Even prior to certification.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 4/23/2007 @ 3:25 pm PT...
No, the problem with DRE's, what people think of as "touchscreens", is that the thing that such a device counts is not a ballot that a human can verify, but an electronic representation that actually says... who knows what?
The human is then handed a paper printout, but that's an after-the-fact product of the DRE, not the thing that the DRE actually counts. And the human cannot verify that what the printout says the DRE did is actually what the DRE did.
This is one of the fatal flaws of e-voting.
As for Dredd's current orgasms over the "source code" section... when will Dredd urge that the bills language be modified to properly account for third-party code in the machine? Because if the language is not modified then the bills ask for the impossible.
And how would Dredd resolve that conflict without creating a double standard for code exposure?
I ask this not for some open source EVM project of the future, but for these bills... which are scheduled to take affect immediately and affect the 2008 election.
Inquiring zapkitties want to know!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 4/25/2007 @ 9:23 am PT...
Dredd is satisfied with progress from one state to an improved state.
If HR 811 and S 559 were left as is, after the conference committee morphs them into one bill, it would vastly improve the current state of affairs. And if some improvements are made by amendments that would be all the more ... great!
But to demand immediate perfection in the place of good progress can doom any bill.
Bills are like babies, not a perfect and competent adult at first introduction.
But if progress is attained thruout its life, the end result is acceptable.
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 4/25/2007 @ 9:29 am PT...
For those who confuse an "orgasm" with posts on blogs, I have some advice for morphing a zapkitty into a purrpussy: try progressive sex ... like bills should be tried ... constant improvement. The first one is not the best except to those who never improve.
A progressive is one who believes that over time things can become progressively better ... so that the final one can be better than the original one.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 4/27/2007 @ 3:05 am PT...
But it ain't progress, Dredd, if true reforms like actually counting the paper ballots, full disclosure of all code running in the machines, and forbidding internet access in tabulators is not in the bill, and this is made worse when those flaws show either gnorance of the subject at hand or are deliberately obscured by creative use of language.
But when this lack of real progress and effective safeguards is accompanied by unreasonable permament damage to the system, permament as in making the disaster that is the EAC permament.... then it's time to say "STOP!" and ask the authors what the hell they think they are doing.
And when they have no good explanations... and so far they've come up either severely lacking or downright silent in that department... well, that tells you all you need to know, right?