Re: [Full-Disclosure] University Researchers Challenge Bush Win In Florida

From: Jason Coombs (jasonc_at_science.org)
Date: 11/24/04

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    To: "Gregory Gilliss" <ggilliss@netpublishing.com>
    To: full-disclosure@lists.netsys.com
    Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 01:04:27 +0000 GMT
    
    

    As for source code or other security vulnerabilities in closed- or open-soure vote tabulators, there is little point in rigging such schemes, and less point in exploiting them. Good old fashion statistical abberations exploited for the benefit of the party that finds them first will win every time.

    In principle, all voters have roughly the same risk of their vote not being counted under any electoral system. This is called 'equitable risk'.

    If, through testing of electronic voting machines, statistical anomalies can be detected that favor the candidate that is entered into the database third (or whatever, take your pick, and it would be different for different voting machines and maybe in different regions, say, because Florida is full of elderly) then you can 'rig' an election in your favor simply by having a non-random selection for the order in which the candidates get listed, and a failure to properly distribute that randomness across precincts.

    If anything, that is what I believe is most likely to have happened in 2004. Bush elected through the (fair ?) exploitation of statistical anomalies tied to misbehaving or ill-conceived electronic voting equipment. Teamed with the fact that partisan, interested voters are in charge of the process this is very plausible...

    Sincerely,

    Jason Coombs
    jasonc@science.org

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