[EM] touch screen voting machines

Eron Lloyd elloyd at lancaster.lib.pa.us
Mon Nov 10 09:18:12 PST 2003

Yes, this is a very interesting subject. Is this the proper mailing list to 
also discuss the development and design of the actual voting systems 
themselves, because I sure would like to be in that discussion. One of my 
biggest questions is whether these "modern" voting systems being purchased 
across the country thanks to HAVA et. al. can easily be modified to support 
IRV, etc. should the states/counties move to such an election method. Also, 
the security issues alone deserve much debate...I've pretty much come to the 
point that an electronic system would be good only to ultimately produce a 
paper ballot which was then counted, not the other way around.

If anyone is interested, I'm starting a project to develop an "Adaptable 
Voting System" using Python and the application framework Qt to produce an 
open-source, fully auditable election system that can be used at terminals, 
on-line, or other flexible ways to hold elections, and uses generic, open 
(XML) formats for the ballot (I'm currently looking at OASIS EML), vote 
results, and statistics to then apply different election methods to it 
(Approval, IRV, etc.) to watch the different outcomes. Though it will mainly 
be a prototype, perhaps something more could come of it.

I feel passionately that open, secure, and fair election systems are the only 
way to protect the integrity of modern democracies.


On Friday November 7 2003 8:44 pm, Forest Simmons wrote:
> The latest issue of "Hightower's Low Down" talks about the various private
> companies (and their conflicts of interest) that have been supplying the
> touch screen voting machines, along with some of the hanky panky that has
> already taken place.
> Besides the outright scandals there are the suspicious results:
> For example, three Republican candidates in three separate elections
> counted by machines supplied by the same company with tight Republican
> connections win by the exact same margin of votes, some improbable number
> like 10,800.
> When authorities requested permission to audit the voting records, the
> company explained that they didn't have room to save them so they had
> erased them.
> Do you trust these guys?
> So far there are no laws that require these companies to reveal the
> internal workings of their machines.
> It looks like Bush won't need a boost from the supreme court this time
> around.
> Forest
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Eron Lloyd
Technology Coordinator
Lancaster County Library
elloyd at lancaster.lib.pa.us
Phone: 717-239-2116
Fax: 717-394-3083

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