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[liberationtech] Free and Fair Elections in Egypt

Sheila Parks sheilaruthparks at
Sun Feb 13 17:54:31 PST 2011

Hi Steve

What an interesting you tube.  Since I don't understand the language 
used, I really cannot tell what was going on here

Was it for real?  etc

Luckily, I have a very close Egyptian friend, who happened to be in 
Egypt while all this was going on,and who lives here now, so she can 
translate it for me.

You say what's "apparently shown in this video"  does this mean you 
really don't know either what is going on?

I agree with what you say about what is needed,(except the audit, 
because the votes  need to be hand-counted twice, and that would be 
the audit) and more than that is needed, and I shall list below

And perhaps I was not clear, because I was not only talking about the 
mechanism for voting, but also HOW the votes are counted

It is not only that the votes are counted by hand, but also :

The poll books are checked before you vote and when you leave after 
voting, and both of these books need to match at the end of the day

The vote counting must be observed and videotaped at the counting by 
opposing parties and the public

Results must be posted at the precinct, in full public view, right 
after the hand-counting

The votes must be counted twice

There must be a secure line of custody of the ballots before, during 
and after the voting.

I am wondering if you read any of the material on the web site that 
stated all this?

And on the web site there is research showing many computer geeks, 
professors and students, hacking the machines and leaving NO trace 
that they were there doing so

The ballot boxes must also be made of clear plastic so that everyone 
there can see what is going into them. I see from the NPR clip that 
the ballot boxes were made of wood and glass but there were NO seals or locks

Ballot boxes must have tamper proof seals and locks

The count of the ballots at the end of the count needs to be the same 
as voters in the poll books, both before and after the voting

AND finally, since the NPR clip and the you tube were about an 
election while Mubarak was in charge, what do you expect?

However, what interests me now, is how many people like you will give 
this 2010 election as an example of how bad hand-counting is, without 
really looking into it more carefully, and move for the machines.

Gore won the 2000 pres election in the US and Kerry won in 
2004.  Bush went to the White House, also with some help from the SCOTUS.

I would imagine in the new election in Egypt things will be very 
different from 2010. And Egypt has NOTHING to learn from how the US 
runs elections,.  Hopefully, as I already said, the geeks in Egypt 
know better than to go to electronic voting machines, both DRE's and 
optical scams, not a typo

All of this is on the web site, always my tag line on every email I send out.

I am disappointed and discouraged that you would send such a glib 
email without looking further into the information


At 03:05 PM 2/13/2011, Steve Weis wrote:
>Egypt used hand-counted paper ballots in 2010 [1]. That didn't 
>prevent voter intimidation or ballot stuffing, like what's 
>apparently shown in this video: 
>The specific mechanism of how the votes are cast is largely 
>irrelevant without vote enfranchisement, safe voting locations, 
>media freedoms, electoral oversight, and the ability to audit the 
>results. Focusing on whether someone votes with a pen and paper, or 
>a touchscreen is missing the bigger picture.
>[1] - "Furor Grows Over Egypt's Election Results", 
>On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM, Sheila Parks 
><<mailto:sheilaruthparks at>sheilaruthparks at> wrote:
>My blood runs cold every time I hear that, wondering if, no WHEN the 
>US privatized, riggable electronic voting machine industry will try 
>to sell their poisons to Egypt.
>The youth and geeks who organized and those millions of leaders who 
>took part in Revolution know better than that, I tell myself
>I would really appreciate comments from you who are involved in 
>democracy and technology.

Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
Belmont, MA 02478
sheila at
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