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

From: Todd Towles (toddtowles_at_brookshires.com)
Date: 11/24/04

  • Next message: Valdis.Kletnieks_at_vt.edu: "Re: [Full-Disclosure] University Researchers Challenge Bush Win In Florida"
    To: "Paul Schmehl" <pauls@utdallas.edu>, "Jason Coombs" <jasonc@science.org>, "Gregory Gilliss" <ggilliss@netpublishing.com>, <full-disclosure@lists.netsys.com>
    Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 13:41:20 -0600
    
    

    Did the charter say something about political messages?..please take it
    off the list guys if possible...

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: full-disclosure-admin@lists.netsys.com
    > [mailto:full-disclosure-admin@lists.netsys.com] On Behalf Of
    > Paul Schmehl
    > Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 11:22 AM
    > To: Jason Coombs; Gregory Gilliss; full-disclosure@lists.netsys.com
    > Subject: Re: [Full-Disclosure] University Researchers
    > Challenge Bush Win In Florida
    >
    > --On Wednesday, November 24, 2004 05:39:31 AM +0000 Jason
    > Coombs <jasonc@science.org> wrote:
    > >
    > > In the case in point, even with the variables you mention,
    > the entire
    > > technical problem can be reduced to observing how the election
    > > officials in various places have historically constructed
    > ballots and
    > > influence just those that can be influenced in just those
    > states where
    > > it will matter. The Republican party (my party) apparently has
    > > advantages over others when it comes to influencing the technical
    > > details of the design of voting machines. Diebold, for example.
    > >
    > The horse has already been packed up and shipped from the
    > rendering plant, but I'll give this *one* more try. (One
    > side note - the management of Diebold are mostly Democrats,
    > not Republicans, not that *that* makes one iota of difference
    > in the competence (or lack thereof) in designing electronic
    > balloting equipment. Pointing to someone's party affiliation
    > as proof of something is merely a distraction from the real issues.)
    >
    > You are talking about an extremely complex and unlikely set
    > of possibilities, *all* of which have to fall into place
    > perfectly for this to happen. It might be fun as
    > speculation, but the implementation would be nigh until
    > impossible and would take some real genius to pull off.
    > >
    > > It makes just about as much sense for every regional
    > election office
    > > to do their ballot construction differently as it does for
    > everyone to
    > > create their own home grown crypto.
    > >
    > And yet it's done all over America. Imagine that.
    > >
    > > Your point about differences in ballot construction is also a red
    > > herring to begin with. If you think that there is the same
    > degree of
    > > variability with ballots in electronic voting machines as there is
    > > with legacy ballots, then perhaps you are the one who does not know
    > > how the process really works with the machines in question.
    > >
    > Why would you assume the ballots all have to be the same just
    > because the same machines are being used to count them?
    >
    > Given three candidates for President (and there are usually
    > more than that) there are at least six different ways the
    > ballot could be arranged *even* if the basic design was the same.
    >
    > Furthermore, the methodology used by an electronic voting
    > machine is independent of the ballot design, for all intents
    > and purposes. For example, an optical reader merely senses
    > the dark spots where a vote has been cast. *Which* candidate
    > that represents is determined by the configuration, which is
    > determined by the construction of the ballot.
    > Having to fit within certain machine-driven parameters does
    > not force the ballot design into one pattern. The votes
    > could be on the left, in the center, on the right, staggered
    > from left to right, staggered from right to left. The
    > possibilities are great.
    >
    > Yet you want to control *all* of that to "take advantage of
    > statistical anomalies" in the equipment?
    >
    > Do we have a mathematician on this list who can calculate the
    > probabilities of this?
    >
    > I would contend that it is infinitely more likely that the
    > machines would be either deliberately tampered with or
    > incompetently misconfigured, ending up in statistical
    > anomalies then I would ever consider your scenario possible.
    > >
    > > You really need to stop making things seem so complicated that the
    > > difficulty of influencing their behavior or outcome
    > couldn't possibly
    > > be surmounted.
    > >
    > Jason, I'm not making anything complicated. I'm observing
    > the complication that already exists - the complication that
    > you apparently refuse to acknowledge.
    >
    > Paul Schmehl (pauls@utdallas.edu)
    > Adjunct Information Security Officer
    > The University of Texas at Dallas
    > AVIEN Founding Member
    > http://www.utdallas.edu
    >
    > _______________________________________________
    > Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
    > Charter: http://lists.netsys.com/full-disclosure-charter.html
    >

    _______________________________________________
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