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
    Jo, 8 Feb 2007 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dieblod machines aren't used in North Carolina, Diebold didn't need to submit the code because they weren't selling their products in the state. But you will continue to ignore the facts.

    The EAC changed their requirements for testing effective this year and developed an entirely new certification process. The ITAs were following all federal guidelines. Once the rules changed, they found that this one ITA (Ciber) did not comply with the NEW rules. They requested Ciber change it's practices to meet the new rules, Ciber is doing so. You can't change the rules today, and get upset because they weren't following the new rules yesterday.

    Like I said, when the government asks to test or review, the companies comply, but that never makes the press, so unfortunately I can't point to articles that prove this, my testimonial won't suffice for you, but they do comply, otherwise you'd hear about it. When the profiteers request it, the companies will always deny it, and that will make the press every time, and that will be all you hear.

    I'm sorry to break it to you, but even though Avi is a very intelligent person, he is in this for the same reasons everyone else is, to make money and be famous. Being the "election expert" has defined his career and provided him relative fame, which has allowed him to start up businesses and get his foot in the door by having a recognized name. I like what he has done from a business standpoint, it's very intelligent and he has found success doing it. I don't blame him for only pointing out the things that will further his career, if he pointed out the good things, he would not be as successful professionally. But for you to think that people like him do this out of the good of their heart, you are again blinded by your emotions. He, like his counterparts, provide selective information to reach their end-goal of being professionally and financially successful, and you buy in to it. Did Avi ever talk about the good parts of the code? No, that wouldn't help his cause. And if he did, it would simply be ignored.

    You won't find articles on the web of these companies submitting to federal/state certifications and requests, but it happens almost every week. You want me to prove that the companies comply to requests, I don't need to, you explained it in your original article just fine, the company did submit their source code for review, like they always do... You want to believe that everything is terrible and they can't be trusted because these profiteers are denied the opportunity to test the system and subsequently twist the facts. How is the company supposed to determine who is in it for the money and who isn't? They can't. I would hope that you wouldn't be so ignorant to believe that every request is made to help the system. Many, if not the majority, of these types of requests are done so to eventually make a profit or get famous because that is what motivates people.

    I know that convincing the 'scared' will never work, there are too many people out there that are working against providing the truth for someone like me to be successful in getting my point accross. I just feel obligated to provide the opinions and information from someone who actually knows how this works. Otherwise, the misinformed will continue to be the only voice out there.

    I was once convinced, like you, that the system is broke and the companies are to blame. But when I took it upon myself to really find out what was going on, I actually injected myself in to the electoral process and witnessed it first-hand, I realized that these elections are reliable, and that the fears are unfounded. But as long as you continue to only focus on the bad (which you have no choice to do because there is no profit in the good news so no one provides it) you will never really understand the system.

    Unfortunately, other people like myself never speak up because people like you will never listen, you've proven that. You want to believe that the companies are trying to hide something, it gives you excitiement and content for new articles. What I wish you would realize is that by closing your eyes and ears to people like me is only making the situation worse for the American people (maybe better for you individually). You should be thankful that someone in the 'know' is providing real information, but you won't, and that's just sad.

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