[EM] Re: touch screen voting machines

David GLAUDE dglaude at gmx.net
Tue Nov 11 15:27:12 PST 2003

Ken Johnson wrote:

> Eron - I share your enthusiasm for open, secure, and fair elections, but 
> I don't think open-source software is necessarily the solution. What is 
> more important is that the process be transparent and independently 
> verifiable by anyone - not just by a few computer specialists.

Open source is not the solution... but all computer program used for the 
election should be Open source to be transparent.

> After making my vote, the voting machine gives me a receipt - much like 
> a bank teller machine - containing a record of my vote and a 
> randomly-generated vote ID number. I check the printed receipt for 
> correctness, seal it, and have a polling agent stamp it with a unique 
> serialization number that is assigned to me and recorded, along with my 
> name and address, as evidence of my vote. The voting machine has no 
> information about the serialization number or about my identity, and 
> there is no record - other than my stamped voting receipt - identifying 
> me with the computer-generated vote ID. In essence, there are two 
> completely autonomous, non-communicating information systems - a 
> computer database associating vote ID's with votes, and a second system 
> (perhaps comprising only written records) associating vote serialization 
> numbers with voters.
> The votes are counted by the computer, and the entire database of votes 
> and vote ID's is placed on the Internet so that any voter can log on and 
> verify that their vote was properly recorded. Independent auditors can 
> also download the entire database to verify the tally. Authorized 
> parties (e.g. law enforcement) may access the vote serialization data to 
> verify that only legally-registered voters have voted. If any 
> discrepancy is sufficient to potentially affect the outcome of the 
> election, then the election is nullified. Furthermore, if sufficiently 
> many people claim that their votes were not properly recorded, they 
> would present their voting receipts to a judge to be reviewed in 
> confidence (this is the only situation in which the association between 
> a voter and thier vote might become known to another party), and if the 
> discrepancy is confirmed the election is nullified.


It is not acceptable for the voter to run out of the voting location 
with a receipt. This mean I have something that proof my vote. I could 
be forced to show my receipt and if I did not vote as I was asked... 
face the consequence.

The secrecy of the vote make it impossible to have a hardcopy you take 
at home!!! Not even a magic number secretly encoded or else.

> With this type of process there is no problem using "black-box", 
> proprietary voting software, because it gives the voters themselves (not 
> just a few compter experts) the ability to confirm correctness of the 
> result.

There is always a problem using "black-box".
Even if you find another way (not the one above) to make it acceptable 
to use "black-box", you are still wrong and open-source is a MUST.

In Belgium we went to court (and win) to have access to the code of the 


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