How Can You Test An E-Voting Machine For Malfunctions If You Don't Get To Test The Machine?

from the just-wondering dept

Now that Florida's governor has admitted that e-voting machines without a paper trail are not such a good idea (though, the optical scan machines he wants to replace them with have their own problems), you would think that Florida would be all for a thorough investigation into the problems of the old machines. Perhaps not. Remember Sarasota, where a bunch of votes appear to have gone missing? In the lawsuit over this, the judge denied the request to see the e-voting software source code, saying there needed to be more evidence that the machines malfunctioned first. At the same time, however, the Department of State in Florida has been trying to commission an "independent" study of the e-voting software, and even spoke to Ed Felten about joining the team. He's listed as one of the investigators, though he actually declined to take part. Why? Well, it turns out that they want the investigation to take place without actually letting the experts view the working software or the e-voting machines. Instead, it only wants to give them the source code and let them comb through the source code alone to try to figure out where the malfunction could have occurred. It's great that at least some experts are finally getting a chance to look at the source code, but it makes you wonder why all of these e-voting security tests always have strict limitations on them. If they really wanted to know what the security vulnerabilities are, shouldn't they make the test much more complete?
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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 7 Feb 2007 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't talk about something you don't u

    I don't just believe that these tests took place, I witnessed them and took part in them. These systems have been, and are, qualified.

    And, you explain the problems the machines have faced, how?

    And, you explain the decertification of the testers how?

    Whether or not you witnesses some tests, there were clearly problems with the testing process and the machines. I'm not quite sure how you can continue to deny either *fact* with a straight face.

    I wouldn't hand it over to someone like you because idiots like you have no understanding of the industry and have no comprehension of responsibility and accountability. You would publicize everything, share everything, and hand it over to other irresponsible and ignorant people like yourself.

    That's not an answer, it's an insult. I don't quite see how that should make me any more comfortable.

    And I'm curious how you define people like Ed Felten and Avi Ruben as "irresponsible and ignorant people." How are they ignorant and irresponsible?

    More importantly, you don't actually explain why letting anyone test these machines is a problem. You just say you don't like them and they wouldn't understand. That's not particularly compelling. If they're so awful, and they still can't crack the machines, then you've won them over. Where's the problem?

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