Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Black Box Voting

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Black Box Voting

    So, for those of you who haven't been paying attention:

    Early voters experienced voting machine malfunctions in Florida and in Texas.

    BlackBoxVoting.com has released released comprehensive and clear instructions allowing anyone to vote multiple times on Sequoia voting machines, no computer knowledge required (although it certainly helps). Diebold has requested HBO pull a special on the security problems in Diebold machines (and for those of you who are really behind, they're pretty pathetically insecure). ArsTechnica predicts a clusterfuck on Nov 8th when people are up in arms about e-voting security and compromised elections.

    When it really comes down to it, is there any way to have anything remotely resembling secure electronic elections unless the specific design of both the hardware and software of the voting machines is completely disclosed to the public?
    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
    [ redacted ]

  • #2
    Re: Black Box Voting

    Originally posted by bascule View Post
    When it really comes down to it, is there any way to have anything remotely resembling secure electronic elections unless the specific design of both the hardware and software of the voting machines is completely disclosed to the public?
    Physical access is so much fun. :-)

    There is a thought to letting people vote from their home computers, but with the number of computers infected with malware (including zombied hosts for spam, and various exploits in web browsers, and email worms) home computers are not a great choice. (New malware could be engineered to change voting if voting were possible from home computers.)

    Additionally, allowing people to vote from home (including absetee ballots) allows for true selling of votes, where individuals can be paid money to sign the absentee ballot envelope, and hand over blank ballot cards to the vote-buyer.

    64% of U.S. citizens age 18 and over voted in the 2004 presidential election. There is quite an opportunity to register people with the incentive to collect their absentee ballots by giving them a small payment and vote for them.

    Making home computers effective "voting machines" means risks for votes being "stolen" through malware.

    A paper-trail and audit log have been the two items missing from most of these voting machines, but there are so many bad ways to include audit trails, that I have doubts that voting machine makers could get that done correctly.

    If people could be given "receipts" with summaries of their voting selections, and have opportunity to use other receipt information to query a read-only DB of all voting submissions to verify that the way they voted as appearing on the receipt actually matched the votes counted for them in a DB, THEN we might have something that might resemble an electronic voting system that could "work."

    No audit trail -> bad.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Black Box Voting

      I was reading somewhere a while back that Mexico has less trouble with voter fraud than we do in the US. Largely due in part to the fact that they know corruption runs rampant, so when you vote you go to the polling place and show ID. You also register in person with ID too. Personally, I think thats the way elections should be run. It allows for accountability and an audit trail. Anonymity is protected while allowing poll locations to be accountable for the votes they take in. They say 'we had 2075 registered voters arrive and cast ballots, we counted the box and have 2075 ballots in it'. Cuts down on shady people hacking the electronic voting machines to cast a 2:1 vote for 'the other guy', it prevents the dead from rising from their graves and voting Democrat, and thwarts the possibility of your dog voting Republican.

      I love technology, but I really think it needs to stay the fuck out of elections.

      I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Black Box Voting

        Originally posted by noid
        so when you vote you go to the polling place and show ID. You also register in person with ID too. Personally, I think thats the way elections should be run.
        I agree. I think most people would see this as reasonable.

        <trying my best to keep this response non-political which is difficult given the fact that voting is purely political, and even the technical aspects of voting (which is is the subject of this thread) is also political>

        There are considerable political forces in the country (which I won't name to avoid "politics") who are vehemently opposed to having voters show IDs to vote. They believe it disenfranchises their voters. <shrugs>
        Last edited by theprez98; November 2, 2006, 10:08.
        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Black Box Voting

          Originally posted by Article on Sequoia
          California counties are to inform all their poll workers of this and instruct them to be very vigilant during the Election Day to anyone spending too much time in the booth, or reaching around to the back of the machine where the button is located. Poll workers are supposed to be instructed to listen for a beeping sound made when the yellow button is pressed.
          Nice. Your freedom and civic duty was just handed a time limit by grandma wondering what's taking you so long. Also of note, reacharounds are expressly forbidded while voting... where's Monica when you need her?

          I am of the mindset that this is an excellent experience and hopefully implemented in the 2008 federal elections. Here me out. All other states aside, Florida is pretty damned split down the middle in partison disagreement. No matter what the outcome of the election, approximately 50% of the folks will be up in arms (much reflecting of political climate throughout the country). IMO.. the results of the election won't really matter in the long run, but the outcome and outrage will be the same. Except this time pain will be focused on the concept of electronic voting and officials that suggested implementation, instead of being passed along as frustration towards tired, weary volunteers attempting to recount the damned vote for the nth time because no side wants to concede.


          My prediction: (quite possibly never coming to fruition with the help of those rabidly against the idea of electronic voting, so feel free to apply on a state level for now)

          The outcome of this election will be subject to more scrutiny than the last two, with exponentially greater populous distrusting electronic voting than when they went in; the several month extending bicker post-election will result in a considerable setback for electronic voting due to highly premature implementation (both device and culture); the concept of electronic voting will be an unlikely attempt for many elections to come, while the products mature to assure the basic concepts of security and laws are passed to mitigate attempts are circumvention during production; a simple exploit of the systems in the future will mean far more than otherwise.

          From a political perspective, we may not know popular vote results until well after the new president is in office. In that scenario, the resulting chaos could result in a couple plausible, logical scenarios: extend the time President Bush is in office or force an electoral vote regardless of popular outcome. Either will serve to further outrage a portion of the citizens.. which will either drive a higher or lower voting turnout. In this case I would suspect a resulting somber of disconnection from the government and a much lower voting turnout in 2011.

          As TheCotMan pointed out somewhere between here and subspace, this is great news. My vote just gained the weight of 1000 people that stopped. From a partison standpoint this would be bad since it would take fewer from each side to tilt the vote towards theirs. But since I am an electoral individualist and because my views are right, I have more effect on a positive outcome than otherwise.


          Originally posted by noid View Post
          I think thats the way elections should be run. It allows for accountability and an audit trail. Anonymity is protected while allowing poll locations to be accountable for the votes they take in.
          Agreed, but it will take a catalyst to get people understanding that the future of things, or for that matter the best procedure is not necessarily dependent on how many volts or gigawatts are fed through it. What better time to get this buried than now? <insert van halen clip>

          Originally posted by noid View Post
          .. and thwarts the possibility of your dog voting Republican.
          I'm still fucking pissed that our guinea pigs voted green.
          Last edited by converge; November 2, 2006, 10:33.
          if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Black Box Voting

            Originally posted by converge View Post
            As TheCotMan pointed out somewhere between here and subspace, this is great news. My vote just gained the weight of 1000 people that stopped. From a partison standpoint this would be bad since it would take fewer from each side to tilt the vote towards theirs. But since I am an electoral individualist and because my views are right, I have more effect on a positive outcome than otherwise.
            Shhh! You're not supposed to TELL people why it is good for a smaller percent of the population to vote.

            One problem with no audit trail is the lack of "true" recount. A carbon-copy of receipt generated with an electronic voting system would force the receipt to be the same as the carbon-copy and so long as the machine was not opened to add hardware and defeat this (with associated risks for evidence), a true recount of the electronic results with a manual tablation of the paper-copies can be done.

            No reliable audit trail means asking a computer to re-sum the values it previously summed. Unless this summing process includes floating point division on a Pentium 60 with accuracy beyond the 4th decimal place, it would seem unlikely to have a "digital recount" result in anything but the same totals.

            As for being a political thread, discussing security weaknesses, and risks, we are perfectly on-topic; it's the condemnation or praise of any party or leaders that could make this a "bad" political discussion.

            This thread is moving along well with no violations or even questionable "political" discussion.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Black Box Voting

              Originally posted by noid View Post
              so when you vote you go to the polling place and show ID. You also register in person with ID too.
              Our state just made IDs a mandatory condition for voting (oddly enough to keep Mexicans out of the voting booths). I find the concept rather strange ... creating barriers to voting at a time when voting rates are so low.

              Originally posted by noid View Post
              They say 'we had 2075 registered voters arrive and cast ballots, we counted the box and have 2075 ballots in it'.
              That's the main problem with e-voting that everyone is screaming about, isn't it? We don't have a box. We can't have a recount.

              At least my state gives me some comfort. You fill out your ballot privately, and an organizer supervises you when you insert the ballot into the machine. A large display shows the number of counted votes, and, if it goes up by one, you have been electronically counted and an audit trail exists. Sounds good to me.

              Of course, this is also the state where we don't count absentee ballots unless the in-person vote ends up being close.

              Originally posted by noid View Post
              I love technology, but I really think it needs to stay the fuck out of elections.
              Technology can be wonderful in many ways, but it can also me misapplied.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Black Box Voting

                45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                [ redacted ]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Black Box Voting

                  see... i think that is the exact type of example that can finally get the average, non-techy person to wrap their head around this. it's interesting, in that bill maher used las vegas in a discussion of security (specifically, airport security) in the context of "it's not like we don't know how to do it right"

                  i'm not a balls-to-the-wall cheerleader for "the efficiency of the marketplace" across the board, but i think that if you asked the average citizen "if a publicly-traded company were in charge of an operation of this caliber, would you invest with them" it would be a decent way of keeping people cognizant of what's done with their tax dollars.

                  as far as voting goes, i can't see how anyone would fail to raise an eyebrow at the electronic machines that are currently in place, particularly if the matter was worded like that.

                  there are a number of very close races in tuesday's election... ever wonder what would happen if that evening (or the following day) some script kiddie were to deface one or two major web sites with the message "we the h4x0rz of d3m0crac&#165; d00|\/| handed the victory to someone who didn't really win in five of the federal level races"... it could cause the entire washington establishment to grind to a halt whilst everyone points fingers at each other claiming their election was among those tampered. talk about a potentially terrifying attack on the nation... and the perpetrators wouldn't even have to actually do anything. i can't believe we've opened ourselves up to such a threat.
                  "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                  - Trent Reznor

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Black Box Voting

                    wayyy back when, some districts had voting machines that were mechanical. Cards were slid into a slot, and a person went inside a booth, flipped over their selections, then when they were happy with their vote, they slid some lever and then that punched their cards, inked ther ballot, or completed the process.

                    It would be amusing to look back at the history of voting and see what kinds of complaints and questions were raised when mechanical voting machines were introduced.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Black Box Voting

                      Originally posted by bascule
                      When it really comes down to it, is there any way to have anything remotely resembling secure electronic elections unless the specific design of both the hardware and software of the voting machines is completely disclosed to the public?
                      Originally posted by Voltage Spike
                      Originally posted by noid
                      View Post
                      They say 'we had 2075 registered voters arrive and cast ballots, we counted the box and have 2075 ballots in it'.
                      That's the main problem with e-voting that everyone is screaming about, isn't it? We don't have a box. We can't have a recount.
                      OK so the first thing that should happen would be that people walk through a one way turn style like at a subway each rotation of the turn style would be one person that way it preserves anonymity. Then like cattle they're herded to the ballot machines where the lucky individual gets to vote. They have a limited amount of time because if you haven't been paying attention, are too stupid to vote, or are trying to crack the machine you don't get to vote(exceptions will be made for senior citizens because they are old and might have actual trouble reading the ballot).
                      You use a punch cards machine the punch card machine will be modified so that only one person from each category will be choose able the guard next to the machine will reset the machine after you take your punch card and exit. Punch card readers will be placed at the exit which will be on the opposite side from which you entered. The card reader will have 2 or 3 guards watching the people as they walk out making sure they each put a card in the slot then drop the card in the steel case next to it and if your not comfortable having people do it let the guards do it.

                      Now how about that for security. And if all that fails I say we do it the pagen way and gut a lamb and read the answer on it's on it's entrails or sacrifice a virgin.
                      There is nothing more dangerous than people with a little knowledge. Which means society is mostly safe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Black Box Voting

                        Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                        see... i think that is the exact type of example that can finally get the average, non-techy person to wrap their head around this.
                        The problem is that I think it is as misleading as a political ad. It implies that one process is basically perfect, will never go wrong; while the other process will never go right. If it was really this black and white, I could understand why it would work.
                        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Black Box Voting

                          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
                          The problem is that I think it is as misleading as a political ad. It implies that one process is basically perfect, will never go wrong; while the other process will never go right. If it was really this black and white, I could understand why it would work.
                          It is wrong in many ways and clearly biased. However, it does get the point across while pointing out the absurdity that casino owners expect more from their equipment than voters from theirs. There's also lots of money involved in both cases but people often lose sight of that fact.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Black Box Voting

                            Originally posted by Rance View Post
                            ..They have a limited amount of time because if you haven't been paying attention, are too stupid to vote,..
                            I would like to propose an argument that more intelligent voters might take longer than those less astute. The state of Oregon is great in the fact that voting can be accomplished by mail. I purposefully ignore all interaction, commercials, and political fodder that occurs in the months leading up to election week. In that respect, I gather material supplementing the descriptions of what I am voting on. On the day I decide to vote, I sit down and hash out each of these items or candidates.. this could take several hours to a day. In the end is a superior product.

                            Even in a show and punch environment, I am not always decided on 100% of my castings when I reach the both. It is at this 'last stop' that I have to make my final weigh of effect vs cost and punch it. Placing a time limit on my voting would sooner make me a terrorist and possible elections criminal than alter my time processing the election properly. It is my right as a citizen, fuck them for not providing a more secure system that relieves THEIR OWN PARANOIA.
                            if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Black Box Voting

                              Is it just me or did voting technology peak with the paper ballot that gets scanned by a computer? While it's not as "wow, technology!" as direct record electronic, it leaves an auditable paper trail yet is still machine countable. While there are documented cases of the scanner mangling a ballot (some ballots in Orlando had to be recounted for this reason in 2004: http://www.notablesoftware.com/Papers/BtF.html ), at least we can make it difficult for somebody to untraceably alter ballots en masse.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X