[EM] Re: Election-methods digest, Vol 1 #152 - 6 msgs

Alex Small asmall at physics.ucsb.edu
Thu Jul 10 10:18:55 PDT 2003

Eric Gorr said:
> John B. Hodges said:
>>Greetings- Everyone on this list should read the following link:
>>Which makes me seriously question any voting system that requires
>> computers to count or calculate at any stage of the process.
> And before computers, it was not unheard of for criminals to
> manipulate the paper ballots.

Excellent point.  However, the additional problem posed with relying
_solely_ on computers are

1)  digital information can be altered without leaving much evidence,
unlike analog paper ballots (kept as backups), which may show tears,
erasures, fingerprints, or whatever)
2)  the data can be manipulated remotely, either via a "backdoor" in the
network connection or, even more insidiously, via deliberate programming
"bugs", which might be programmed to erase themselves and leave behind
only "clean" code after the damage has been done.

Both issues frustrate transparency, which is the only real defense
against corruption.  I want some reliable paper ballots (i.e. probably
not punch-cards) as backup, guarded in a highly transparent manner, so
that we can check them against the digital record.

Alex Small

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