[EM] For Election Equipment - Providing for Testing

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Fri Nov 12 09:21:22 PST 2004

On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:11:03 -0500 (EST) Warren Schudy wrote:
Subject:  Re: [EM] IRV in San Francisco

> 1) Did the ballot only allow each voter to give the top three choices? I 
> suspect that restriction would significantly decrease the effectiveness of 
> IRV.

Agreed a decrease, but I question its being significant:
      Vote your true preference.
      Vote your preference among those likely to win.

Most of the time that is all that is important, and being able to vote a 
third choice covers most of the exceptions.

Thinking back to the election that elected Chirac in France, I would class 
that as an exception - there were a number of moderates, all of which I 
could have preferred to Chirac, and there might have been no clear leader 
among them - there I would have desired to rank everyone with a believable 
chance ahead of Chirac.

> 2) I suspect the root cause of the crappy election software used is
> gullible non-technical election clerks making purchasing decisions.  As a
> software engineer, I would require a code review before purchasing
> software for something as fault-intolerant as voting systems or nuclear
> power plant control.

Here you are identifying a MAJOR problem, but I believe the clerks deserve 
a verdict of INNOCENT.

The decision that manufacturers would be allowed into this field without 
their product being properly tested was made at a much higher level. 
Perhaps there is need for a couple laws:
      Federal elections SHALL NOT involve hardware or software that is not 
both open source and available for testing by those interested in 
certifying quality.
      Those who make information available as required by above law shall 
be protected as nearly as practical from theft to the protection they 
could have via secrecy.

> -wjs
> On Thu, 11 Nov 2004, Toplak Jurij wrote:
> /-----------------------------------------\
> | Warren Schudy                           |
> | WPI Class of 2005                       |
> | Physics and computer science major      |
> | AIM: WJSchudy  email: wschudy at wpi.edu   |
> | http://users.wpi.edu/~wschudy/          |
> \-----------------------------------------/

  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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