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Reply #6: Not true -- paper ballots deserve a much-higher level of trust [View All]

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unc70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Not true -- paper ballots deserve a much-higher level of trust
There have been many discussions about this over the years here at DU. My journal has several long items about why we should never entrust our elections to any system that cannot be observed and understood by ordinary citizens. Our selection of who next becomes the most powerful person in all human history, whose actions will greatly affect our individual and collective futures, possibly our fates and that of all mankind.

In our primaries and elections, we must eliminate every possibility that a small group could manipulate election results widely and without detection, and we must be constantly vigilant at all levels. Because every computer-based voting system is vulnerable to many types of risks/attacks that are essentially impossible to prevent, we should only use systems based on hand-marked ballots which can ultimately be examined and counted by hand, although they might have been initially counted with scanners. The ability to manipulate and control our elections, even partially, is of such immense value that many groups, foreign and domestic, would be tempted. We know of some similar efforts by the CIA in other countries; how much effort might equivalent groups in Russia, China, or elsewhere against us? My guess is "as much as it takes".

But it probably would not involve that much effort. Why? Because almost every electronic device, from chips to disks to scanners, is manufacture in other countries and is in unsecured environments along each step of its manufacture, assembly, testing, and distribution. I believe we now have only one significant secure chip foundry in the US, a growing concern at DoD and elsewhere. Could anyone detect a trojan hidden in the design of a "standard" cpu chip that was made in a fab in another country if they only had the chip itself?

We are reaching the point where security and privacy are now longer possible for anyone or any organization.

BTW just because you did not notice errors by your computer does not mean they did not happen. Would you have noticed a dropped bit or bits with non-parity memory? Or that your Intel cpu sometimes failed arithmetic? Or that your Excel functions might return highly inaccurate results because they used non-robust algorithms? Who needs to compute future value to that much accuracy?

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