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. identicon
    Enrico Suarve, 7 Feb 2007 @ 1:06am

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

    Wow - if there is one thing that is virtually guaranteed to bring out a supremely arrogant and offensive post, it's daring to question a Diebold machine

    How dare they? Do they not know we know best? Bastards...

    Basically you create machines which collate and record the average citizens only real involvement in the entire decision making process of their country. To not understand why, having lost their confidence they then want to be able to ask questions and see for themselves is amazing

    Any other company would lose its tender about now

    I have seen:

    *Machines with the same physical security as a mini-bar with keys so poor they can be successfully duplicated from a grainy photo
    *Mock elections supervised by senior election staff which demonstrated 'hands-off' vote rigging
    *Letters from senior members of Diebold, hinting at offers to vote rig
    *Testimonies from various members of the public who insist they hit one button on a screen but another appeared pressed
    *Paper trails (original and reprinted) from the same Diebold machine reporting on its results from the same election that do not match by a significant margin
    *Counties where Diebold machines have been thrown out by officials as there are significant concerns

    You already lost people's confidence a long time ago, abusing the law to withhold evidence over something as important as voting machine 'malfunctions' may not just be arrogant, it may even be treasonable. Or is that why the ass-covering is so extreme?

    As to your "we know best" re testing - great it passed your test, I assume you have reliable, documentable evidence that you are perfect and make no mistakes?

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