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Let's demand state-by-state documentation on election processes

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CantGetFooledAgain Donating Member (635 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 11:48 AM
Original message
Let's demand state-by-state documentation on election processes
What I'm getting at is a detailed description or list of the following:

-How/where votes are collected (type of machinery, list of all voting locations...)

-How they are totaled locally

-How/where these local counts are combined/tabulated

-Who has access to critical equipment and physical records

In particular, the make and model and software version of all electronic equipment involved in the end-to-end process.

How does this help? If we cannot get state governments to provide us with this information, we have a story for the media. Stonewalling on a perfectly reasonable request for documentation of a critical, taxpayer funded system. Why? What could they possibly have to hide?

If we do get the information, we can come up with a list and/or graphic representation of every vulnerability in the system and ask how each was protected against in the 2004 "election". For example: "How did you ensure that your GEMS machine in this location was NOT accessed remotely". Shift the burden of proof back where it should be, on the people in actual control of the system.

As a software consultant, this is exactly the approach I would take if trying to fix a broken system. As a citizen, this is the approach I would take to start holding feet to the fire. It's really a way to implement "Prove my vote counts, now" proposed by understandinglife.

Comments?
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DELUSIONAL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. One addition -- don't know where it would fit in your list
How computer literate are the staff who are in charge of tabulating the votes? My impression is that there isn't a high degree of literacy -- enough to know what the vote machine "tech-reps" might be doing.

Even if staff were to supervise -- would one person on staff have enough knowledge to understand what the tech-rep is doing?

This relates to this item in your list:


"-Who has access to critical equipment and physical records"

The military uses tech-reps extensively to maintain critical computers in highly sensitive areas. But each tech-rep has a very high clearance -- from the military --

It would seem that voting machine company tech reps should have some sort of background check and a clearance and that their ID should be verifiable.

We really need to know the vulnerabilities of each county and/or town in the country -- and then demand that changes are made so that we can be secure in the knowledge that every vote is counted.

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CantGetFooledAgain Donating Member (635 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Exactly - thank you
It disturbs me to no end that what is standard information security practice in corporate, government, and military IT systems is simply unheard of in voting systems.

My instinct is to demand proof that proper security precautions were taken. Where this proof is not forthcoming, this fact needs to be publicized. I don't think any election that is not at least reasonably tamper-proof should be binding.

I know that Bev Harris and others have already made significant progress in this, but these demands also need to be made at a high level (GAO for example) and they need to be backed up with the full power of the law, with penalties for non-compliance.
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berniew1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. If Dems lose this election, its because of not paying attention to process
Edited on Sat Nov-27-04 01:56 PM by berniew1
The Repubs have spent a lot of effort on controlling process to prevent minorities and students from voting, and to set policies to not count votes of minorities and students. Many hundreds of thousands of votes were lost by the Dems not paying attention to process and allowing GOP to suppress votes of minorities and students, by clearly unfair and unreasonable(and illegal) registration processes and vote counting processes. Hundreds of thousands of votes were lost in swing states alone.

See votersunited.com web page for details
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berniew1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Kerry has a good chance to win Ohio recount, but only if process fair
The Dems are still not doing enough to insure a fair vote count and recount process in Ohio, where multiple decisions that aren't fair and reasonable, and should be illegal have been used to prevent counting votes of eligible minority and student voters. If Dems don't pay more attention to process in the recount, there's no reason to do a recount with an obviously biased and unfair vote count process.
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