Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scrap "e-voting"

Good article on the bullshit that is "e-voting":

Pull the Plug on E-Voting

Written by a guy who "spent twenty five years in the financial services industry helping to protect billions of dollars of other people's money." He recommends scrapping "e-voting" completely. He also understands some key points that other people simply fail to grasp, such as the fact that source code is irrelevant to what's actually running on the computer, and that software is inherantly untrustworthy. Also:
I'm so tired of hearing e-voting compared to using an Automated Teller Machine. Voting could not be more different than using an ATM. ATMs ask for not one but two forms of identification - a bank card and a PIN. Whereas the act of voting is private and anonymous. "Private, anonymous banking" is just another way to say "robbery in progress" - as in sawing open the ATM and taking its cash. ATMs exchange transaction and audit records with multiple counterparties and offer the user a receipt. Some but not all e-Voting systems may create or scan a paper vote record, but the voter surely can't keep it, or votes could be coerced or sold. e-Voting machines and ATMs are truly "apples and bicycles".

When it comes to electronic voting, we can't use any of the techniques we apply to securing electronic financial transactions, all of which are predicated on the strong proofs of identity and exchange of transaction data with multiple counterparties that are rightfully banned in voting systems.
(emphasis added)

The most user-friendly explanation of the problems inherant in electronic voting technologies that I've seen is the recent Robin Williams movie, Man of the Year. It is not a comprehensive look at the issue, but it serves well enough to point out some substantial flaws and risks. And, as I pointed out in my comments on Yahoo movies in response to some nutjob complaining about how this movie is "liberal bullshit," this is not a partisan issue. If you don't believe me, Mr. Neocon, just wait until some dumbassed computer error hands the election to a liberal.


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