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[liberationtech] 2016 U.S. voting computer issues

Douglas Lucas dal at riseup.net
Wed Apr 8 15:14:10 PDT 2015


Hi Libtech,

Curious if anyone has interesting thoughts or recommendations on
investigating the state of computerized voting and vote-counting, and
the risk that elections will be flipped by unscrupulous operators. In
the past there have been serious questions about the integrity of the
system, and I see no signs any of this has been resolved. There are a
bunch of angles and potential useful expertise--including computers and
hacking.

BlackBoxVoting.org is a good resource that points out the chief problems
with vote-counting are pretty straightforward. For instance[1],
"observation of actual ballot-counting, with ability to see and
authenticate each vote choice, is generally prohibited, replacing
meaningful authentication with semantics. 'Watching the process'—for
example, standing behind a window to watch people moving around in a
room—has been allowed to replace observing the count of the votes
themselves. In many locations, even the officials in charge of
certifying the election are not permitted to see votes counted."

But the website also has an interesting collection of PDFs[2] of
technical material, including manuals, schematics, and troubleshooting,
for various voting system manufacturers, plus reports detailing
problems. BlackBox argues addressing a lot of the technical issues might
be "over-thinking" the problem relative to the more obvious issues (e.g.
watching the process), but I'm curious what Libtechers think about that
as well as for any other ideas or thoughts.

Aiming to open up discussion here, not find a single definitive answer!

Thanks,

Douglas

[1] http://blackboxvoting.org/reports/usa/
[2] http://blackboxvoting.org/reports/voting-system-technical-information/
[Bonus] This is always worth pointing out: https://jhalderm.com/pacman/



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