[EM] voting machines

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sat Aug 28 22:08:04 PDT 2004

On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 00:20:08 -0400 James Green-Armytage wrote:

> Dave Ketchum <davek at clarityconnect.com> writes:
>>If someone writes usable code, AND makes it public, what stops someone 
>>else copying the code without paying those who did the work?
> The threat of a law suit stops them, of course. I mean, these machines are
> being contracted in large numbers for public use, right? In fact, public
> access to the source codes should make it even easier to determine that
> one company is using a source code that was copyrighted by another
> company. So I think it would be foolishly easy to catch copyright
> infringement.

They make the argument, get away with it, and it makes more sense if 
someone would copy open code and that someone would be allowed to do secrecy.

> Anyway, I don't see why designing the software for an electronic voting
> machine would be so hard anyway. It would probably require less hassle to
> just design your own rather than steal someone else's and fight it out in
> court. I mean, you give the voters a menu for each office or issue, and
> whatever buttons they press, you save that as a tiny file and add the
> numbers to the overall sums for the candidates. I think that most
> competent software designers should be able to dispatch something like
> that pretty quickly without any serious brain-strain.

Sounds simple until you try and start stumbling over the details.

Sequoia has been into elections for decades, if not a whole century.  Used 
to be their website had a detailed discussion, and I liked seeing good 
answers to a zillion questions.  That discussion is no longer public, but 
they now have a short discussion that shows the topic is complex.

> You may have read that there are very rigorous standards for electronic
> slot machines... their source codes are inspected on a regular basis to
> ensure fairness. It is pathetic that any government officials would take
> the notion seriously that we don't need voting machine standards which are
> as rigorous as slot machine standards, but that's where we seem to be.
> Man, this stuff has got me really worried. It's just scary how unconcerned
> the Republicans seem about having a verifiable vote-counting process. It
> doesn't seem unreasonable at this point to fear a slide into a
> dictatorship, that is, a loss of all democratic accountability, by means
> of voting machines which routinely falsify the result in favor of the
> ruling party.

Read about Diebold - could be the Reps are DELIGHTED with what they have got.

Puzzle is why the Dems are not making more noise.

> Sincerely,
> James

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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