8/04/2005

2 Responses to VVSG Volume One, Section 1, Introduction”

2 Responses to “Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) Volume One, Section 1, Introduction”

1. Lois Thomson Says:
August 2nd, 2005 at 10:34 am

I am extremely concerned that you are going ahead with an electronic system. I have read an heard many computer specialists and have programmed computers (many years ago) and understand that the most reliable is the paper ballot. Electronic voting, whether with a paper trail or not, can be programmed from afar. It is simply not safe … we will all be disenfranchised if we go ahead with any electronic voting system!
2. lawnorder Says:
August 4th, 2005 at 7:51 pm

1.6.1
Although some of the certification tests are based on those prescribed in the Military Standards, in most cases the test conditions are less stringent, reflecting commercial, rather than military, practice.

Why ? Isn’t voting mission critical ? I believe we need military standards for DRE. Not commercial standards. Voting systems are after all, performing a critical government function that must be performed in a very short period of time, very accurately. And don’t forget that Homeland Security did uncover an Al Qaeda plot to hit around election time in 2004.

The current 1990 standards predate palm pilots, wireless computing, the World Wide Web, programmable cell phones, web enabled cell phones and Al Qaeda terrorism.

Suppose, for instance that on election day we have a 2 hour blackout like we had in August 2003. This scenario might be a lot more probable than one may think. The blackout in 2003 was an accident but as Global Security.org reminds us, the 2003 Blackout Showed that America’s Infrastructure Vulnerable To Terrorists.

Our voting system needs to be fault tolerant, tamper proof and have military grade disaster recovery plans. What if someone bombed the Florida Board of Elections in 2000 ? How would we know who won if all the paper ballots got burned in a fire ?

Don’t put it past the evildoers to think of an attack like that. The Al Qaeda bombing in Madrid happened close to that country’s elections and had a sizable impact on the election results. We are now in a post 9/11 world and an obvious point of attack is the US voting process. And thanks to the tiny margins that have been winning elections, the terrorists would know exactly where to hit to cause chaos: Ohio, Florida and the other swing states. All users of DRE.

The voting process is a crucial part of our Republic’s democratic state. It has been a target of terrorist attack plans before. The 2000 and 2004 elections showed US how damaging any delay or uncertainty in the results can be for the entire country. We can not afford to use relaxed commercial system standards on it.

Besides being fault tolerant and possessing a military grade disaster recovery plan it most be tamper proof. Don’t forget, bombing is not the only risk. Thanks to Diebold’s lack of web enabled security, a sizable part of their source code was widely available worldwide for 3 years, along with information on bugs and vulnerable spots. It constitutes the bulk of their current code. Any experienced hacker could have seen it. The system is very easily hacked as countless demonstrations have shown it. Finding someone to write a palm pilot program to mess with it wouldn’t be that hard for Al Qaeda or other parties interested in destabilizing the country.

Verified Voting Foundation Blog � Blog Archive � Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) Volume One, Section 1, Introduction

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