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), 8 Feb 2007 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


    It's hard to see how you are a trustworthy source here.

    1. To claim that Diebold didn't have to supply their code because they weren't being used there is just wrong. They were specifically asked to supply the code to get approved there and they refused. That directly contradicts your claim that they automatically supply the code when needed.

    2. You apparently don't read Avi Rubin's reports. He actually does point out where what these companies have done is done well. So to claim he doesn't continues to discount your credibility.

    3. You continue to insist that I'm making claims about these companies doing something maliciously. I never have. I don't think they are. Since you keep assuming I'm saying something I'm not, I'm not sure how many times I need to respond on this issue.

    4. As far as I can tell, the only one with a conspiracy theory here is you. You're claiming that this is all a big scam to keep the voters scared -- though you don't explain how that actually helps anyone. I don't think there's any conspiracy here. I just want to see the machines tested.

    5. You still don't explain why there's a problem with letting the machines be tested. If they're secure, why not let them be tested?

    You claim that we're ignoring you, but it seems fairly obvious that's not the case at all. If I were ignoring you, I wouldn't keep asking questions to try to understand where you're coming from. The reason I'm asking questions is because what you say doesn't make any sense, isn't supported by anything and doesn't match up with the numerous damning reports about the security of these machines and the failures to test them thoroughly.

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