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 @ 12:38pm

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

    Diebold didn't want the North Carolina business, so they were in no way obligated to provide anything to them. The request was part of the RFP process, and since they were not proposing, they weren't obligate to provide anything. They had already passed the federal certification, why spend money and resources in a place where they weren't doing business? You live in a fantasy world man, these are companies, and if they don't make money, the products never improve and we'll be stuck with old technology.

    You've fulfilled everything I claimed. I don't need to back it up any more; you've proven it all for me. You are so scared that you won't have anything to write about, you can't just be thankful that someone who is actually involved in this has provided information. You have discouraged more people from providing the other side of this story. So your comments will continue to be filled with one-sided views from misinformed people, and sadly, that is exactly what you want. Because of people like you, the news will continue to be skewed to the negatives because that's what people want to read about, and the positives in elections will never be brought to light. No one ever hears about the hundreds of elections conducted each month that are successfully audited. Any cognition of anything other than what you already believe would somehow be a defeat to your livelihood and you would never allow that to happen. It is people like you that make it pointless for the companies to make any effort. Say, for example, they did let some profit hungry group outside of the law test these machines, and they found that they worked perfectly, it would end up a small footnote in some minor article that no one would read. The machines working correctly isn’t newsworthy to people like you. Sadly, you want the machines to fail, it provides content for your articles…

    The machines are tested, during federal and state certification, and also at the county and election level. Having people profit from testing these machines outside of the law is contradictory to what you want, yet since it doesn't create hits on your articles, you will never admit it. The machines are certified, which means they were tested and approved by the government; call the EAC, go to your local election office and ask to witness the public tests, volunteer on election day, ask to watch the certification testing. No one is going to come to your house and let you play with the machines so you can feel better about things and then write about it the next day so you can be popular. If you want proof, contact your state SOS office, ask for a list of certified equipment, inquire about the certification process, ask for certification materials, hold your elected officials accountable, and set up a meeting with your state elections director. Sadly, you would never go out of your way to do these things because if you saw something that went against your belief that "no one tests the machines", you would have to admit being wrong and you would have less to write about. Your whole fantasy world would come crashing down if you opened your eyes to the truth and actually made an effort to see how elections are conducted, but the truth isn't interesting, it doesn't make for good tech dirt, so it would be pointless for you to make any real effort whatsoever. So just keep throwing out your hearsay and twisted information, it gets hits on your website, and that's all you really want. There is a process in place to test these machines, as much as you all cry and whine, the companies are never going to let some book writing profiteer to attack these machines and pick the facts they want to present. The testing needs to be done by indepnedent reviewers that aren't biased by what their audience wants to hear. The companies follow the fair rules the government has set for them, and they oblige wherever they are required to do so.

    I will discontinue providing the opposing view, it’s pointless because you will always believe what you want to believe and are too proud to do or even consider anything else.

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