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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-28-08 08:14 PM
Original message
Bowen pushes for open source software.
Edited on Sun Sep-28-08 08:16 PM by Stevepol

From Gideon & Voters Unite

Counting Every Vote
California's Sec. of State Says Open-Source Software Is Needed to Safeguard Electronic Voting Systems
Sept. 28, 2008

California's secretary of state, Debra Bowen, believes that open-source software should be used in elections involving electronic voting machines, to protect against error and fraud.


When asked about future elections, Bowen said the one technology she'd like to see integrated into voting systems tomorrow is open-source software for creating ballots and tabulating votes. Both tasks are horrendously complicated, she added, and so need to be very carefully monitored. For example, Los Angeles County alone may use 330 different ballots for a single election, because dozens of local races may be going on in different neighborhoods. And one common problem there with early deployments of touch-screen voting machines was that voters were presented with ballots that didn't show all the races that applied to them.

More at the link:
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-08 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. Ron Rivest is quoted in the article.
Without using the phrases "risk-based audit" or "software independence", Rivest makes the important point.

MIT computer science professor Ron Rivest, who has studied the security and privacy of voting systems, says that these systems should be designed to work even if the software underneath is somehow flawed. "Do you have to trust the software in order to trust the election results?" he asks. The ideal situation, Rivest says, is one where the presence of bugs or malware cannot affect the outcome of an election.

The ten percent audit of VVPAT's ordered by the SoS in the recertifications, and largely ignored by the counties, is a more serious issue.

And so is this disturbing information revealed in the article...

One of Bowen's biggest worries about November's presidential election isn't the voting machines being used but the databases in which voter registration information is stored. A number of states recently introduced a requirement that names on drivers' licenses and voter registration records match exactly. Bowen says this could unfairly disqualify some voters, because the software used to compare records often cannot account for typos. For example, a computer may not recognize that "OM'alley" is a typo of "O'Malley." In 2006, Bowen says, exact match requirements prevented more than 20 percent of Los Angeles County voters from being properly placed on voter registration lists.

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Morgan Wick Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-08 07:00 PM
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2. I'm a sports fan.
I've been through the steroids scandal in baseball, and not knowing much about why open source is so cool, that's why I think this is a TERRIBLE idea. The lawbreakers are always one step ahead of the law. All this does is put the system and its flaws out there in the open for everyone and their mother to exploit. Either fixes might come too slow to matter, or it'll also create an opening for people to create new flaws.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-08 08:13 PM
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3. No, thank you. I've had quite enough of voting software of any sort. nt
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-08 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. agreed (software &/or hardware). Is Bowen on the record at all addressing the option of HCPB?
I'm sure she's surrounded 24/7 by people pressuring her to keep it all computerized.
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