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November 03, 2003

E-voting Done Right

Australia figured out how to implement E-Voting. They are using the same solution many critics of the Diebold and similar systems have been proposing:

  • open source core
  • public code review for both security and functionality
  • independent industry verification
The developers really get it too, they realize that they are working on something vitally important– “Any transparency you can add to that process is going to enhance the democracy and, conversely, any information you remove from that process is going to undermine your democracy” –Matt Quinn lead engineer for developer Software Improvements. 

Quinn commented on the importance of voting systems and allegations that Diebold disabled some security systems in their black box voting system:

“The only possible motive I can see for disabling some of the security mechanisms and features in their system is to be able to rig elections,” Quinn said. “It is, at best, bad programming; at worst, the system has been designed to rig an election.”

“I can’t imagine what it must be like to be an American in the midst of this and watching what’s going on,” Quinn added. “Democracy is for the voters, not for the companies making the machines…. I would really like to think that when it finally seeps in to the collective American psyche that their sacred Democracy has been so blatantly abused, they will get mad.”

Don’t worry Quinn, there are many of us that are mad, plenty mad..

He is also concerned that we get it right:

“After all, we’ve all got a stake in who’s in the White House these days. I’m actually prone to think that the rest of the world should get a vote in your elections since, quite frankly, the U.S. policy affects the rest of the world so heavily.”

In related news Diebold is under lawsuit for its cease and desist orders and abusive copyright claims. The EFF and Stanford Law Clinic will represent a non-profit ISP and two students of Swarthmore College who participated, and continue to particpate, in the electronic civil disobedience fight against “black box” (closed non-reviewable systems as opposed to white-box or open systems) voting. Diebold has been trying to shut down sites which have furthered the spread of the highly incriminating emails leaked out of the company. Of course the zipped version of all those emails is running through cycberspace–email, websites, and P2P sharing.

Posted by Eric at November 3, 2003 09:38 PM | TrackBack
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