On Internet voting, a reply to Richard Charnin

Lucius Chiaraviglio weighs in on Richard Charnin’s post:

Subject: Re: [ei] Fwd: [MCM] How Internet voting CAN work

Aug 19, 2010 09:00:28 PM, kathy.dopp@gmail.com forwarded From Richard Charnin:
> I disagree with the premise that ALL Internet voting is bad. Actually,
> if the votes are entered at the precinct and uploaded to the Internet
> for tabulation, with PROPER controls (given below) you can have a
> nearly foolproof nationwide system.

Tabulation by programmable devices gives just as much opportunity for
election fraud as voting on programmable devices, except that since
fewer devices are needed for this purpose, the fraud is easier to achieve.

> In Appendix E of my book, I propose a national voting system in which
> votes are entered on a PC by three observers. The votes MUST BE POSTED
> IN FULL PUBLIC VIEW BY USER ID CODE at the precinct. Individual ballot
> data records are uploaded to the Internet periodically.

No matter how honest the observers are, the PC can still lie — it can appear
to the observers to have recorded the vote honestly, and then alter the vote
internally.

> ANY individual or group can download the vote data for any or ALL
> precincts in the state. They and CHECK the aggregated district and
> county totals (calculated by OPEN SOURCE CODE ON THEIR OWN PCs.

How do you know that what you downloaded is what the system really
tabulated and what the voters really entered? No way.

> Triple data redundancy:
> 1- Votes posted at the precinct.

Which could have been altered by the vendor, just like in Ohio in 2004 by
Triad Election Systems.

> 2- Each Voter has a ballot copy

Which is only useful if you hand count ALL of them. In that case, might as
well hand count them all in the first place.

> 3- Votes are recorded on the Internet by precinct code/user ID

No guarantee that this cannot be tampered with.

> 5- Votes are tabulated on the Net by Open Source and by an individual
> using a standard spreadsheet

Open source on your own PC does not guarantee open source on the
machines doing the tabulation. Open source initially on the machines doing
the tabulation does not guarantee open source on these same machine
when election day arrives.

> It is a simple, cost effective, secure and redundant. That’s why it
> has not been and never will be implemented.
>
> Now, if you see a flaw in this VERY INEXPENSIVE SYSTEM, tell me.

It would only give a false sense of security and redundancy. Therefore, it
might actually get implemented after considerable token resistance.

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