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View Diary: Wednesday's SOS Debate & my Voter Bill of Rights (144 comments)

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    •  source code (5+ / 0-)

      ms. bowen, we all know the saying--it's not who votes, it's who counts the votes.

      in terms of e-voting this notion is concerned specifically with the source code which instructs the machine how to tally votes. what are you doing or have you done to make sure the source code is open for scrutiny?

      •  If I understand Debra's... (4+ / 0-)

        position there will be no voting machines.

        "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

        by Nestor Makhnow on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 05:44:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  read the voter bill of rights (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dangangry, gloriana
          •  The right to vote on paper. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maxschell, juliesie, wardlow, BentLiberal

            Seems pretty clear. I understand from one blogger's call with her that she advocates optical scanned acid-free paper ballots which would be stored for a number of years after the election.

            Remember that County Registrars are in charge of the voting process under the supervision of the Sec of State and the 'helpful' U.S. Congress with their corporatist, partisan legislation 'protecting' the vote.

            A recent study showed that there has been NO voter fraud in any election in years.

            The whole idea of machines to 'help'' the handicapped vote, and 'voter id' to 'prevent' fraud is quit simply a ruse to allow corporate interests to gain access to the voting process in such a way that allows them to control it.

            Debra understands this and will stand against this usurpation of our basic right to control our vote.

            No machines is one of her planks.

            That's why the ReThugs don't want her to be elected.

            "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

            by Nestor Makhnow on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 10:00:00 PM PDT

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      •  It's also who votes (3+ / 0-)
        Blackwell stole the election in Ohio in 2004 on BOTH ends, and he's been working hard this year on the front end. That's why our legislature helped him out with a suppressive ID requirement that probably won't be evenly enforced. It's why he tried to snuff out registration efforts and require citizenship papers from naturalization citizens (both of those directives were overturned by courts).

        You really can't focus on just one part of the system: the entire system has to be designed for fairness, simplicity and transparency.

        •  source code (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is the single most important issue. all others fall below it.

          if there are many issues, you focus on the most important first. make sure that's nailed down, then move on to the others.

          •  If all voting is on paper, sourcecode (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            patginsd, BentLiberal

            is irrelevant.  End all electronic balloting.  Period.

            -7.88, -6.72. I AM paying attention, and I am so fucking outraged I can't see straight. The W in Fascist is silent; unfortunately, W isn't....

            by caseynm on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 09:17:30 PM PDT

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          •  Ms. Bowen & John: (0+ / 0-)

            It's such a shame that people refuse to use public-key encryption technonology online. I know guys shooting at each other in jungles over LOTS of territory who lose when only the other side uses it. It amazes me that people here are so hard to get to encrypt their commo. Anyway.

            But, is there any way that PK encryption could be used in the voting process? The number of votes would be limited to the number of registrants by the fact of the issuance of the keys. The right voter using it would be limited to the voter having their key.

            Probably this is technologically impossible, since it would require a password and a way to bring the private key to the ballot somehow, but, following registration (unfortunately not fundamentally the SoS's domain, as I recently partially learned, because I still don't understand the interwoven chains of responsibility - I mean if the mess up at County level and blow the registration, what's left to certify or recover?), could there be something in that?

            Just a thought.

            And good luck to you and us all, our next Madame Secretary. I think you're going to make it. The LA Times has lost the way from its ass to its elbow ever since they fired Robert Scheer.

            And by the way will you please arrange to give free Macintosh computers to everyone in California instead of a thank you note once you win? I'm sure a lot of people would like that.


            "What did they expect?" -- Benito Mussolini, on marching 300,000 Black Shirts on Rome.

            by Gottlieb on Tue Oct 24, 2006 at 12:42:32 AM PDT

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      •  Bowen supports Jackie Goldberg's AB 2097 (4+ / 0-)

        that would "prohibit the Secretary of State from approving a voting system for use in an election until its operation and specifications are publicly disclosed. The bill would also apply these disclosure requirements to voting systems certified prior to June 30, 2007."

        it would also require the Secretary of State "to establish a public review process that allows any member of the public to review voting system software based on the information required to be disclosed pursuant to these provisions."

        As chair of the Elections Committee, she held hearings on the bill this summer.

        The sticking point, apparently, was fears vendors wouldn't comply, but in the latest news:

        earlier this month in, a rep from ES&S, the biggest evoting vendor in the country, told the SF Elections Commission they would comply with such a "technology disclosure requirement" should that become law in CA. This is the 3rd major evoting vendor (none of them Diebold) to say they'd comply.

      •  John: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BentLiberal, john de herrera

        Check this link to a transcript of a hearing she Chaired on Open Source Software. I've been following her activities in the California Senate. From all I have seen, she is an open source code advocate. If I lived in California, I would vote for her.

        "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - A. Einstein

        by FWIW on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 08:07:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  then (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denise b

          the issue that's second to none should be found in her voter bill of rights.

          thanks for the link fwiw.

        •  Source Code (6+ / 0-)

          Thanks, FWIW.  The hearing on open source software -- and the ones that followed exploring the shortcomings of "certification" -- were extremely valuable.  We learned some very interesting things about what was NEVER been tested -- in particular, the Diebold memory card, which uses interpreted code  (something that is banned by the EAC guidelines).

          The goal is to have a voting system in which everything but the way a particular vote was cast is transparent -- and that includes the source code.

          That's not enough, though.  After consulting with many programmers, computer science professors, and people I've worked with on a variety of other tech-related policy matters, I'm convinced that even a thorough review of code could miss easter eggs and other goodies.  That's where audits come in.

          Audits must be required of elections using all paper ballots, as well -- since I have yet to see perfection in counting complex ballots (100 + contests) such as we have in this country.

          Safeguards and redundancy should be built in from end to end.

      •  hand counted is better (0+ / 0-)

        because we don't have to trust machines and the few machine makers.

        and it's cheaper too

    •  An idea to consider, after you're elected... (12+ / 0-)

      Sen. Bowen,

      One potential way to resolve the e-voting mess, and for California to yet again lead the country in tech innovation: form a private/public partnership between the state and the tech industry to produce an end-to-end verifiable open-source/open-process voting system.

      Managing elections is a function of government, not something we should entrust to a private company.  (And I say that as an exec at a high-tech company.)  I believe that a public-private consortium could show the world the way to accountable, efficient elections.

      My email address is in my profile.  Feel free to contact me (or have your staff do so) to discuss this further.


      "Watching George Bush trying to govern is like
      watching a monkey trying to f**k a football."
      I'm a libertarian, pro-2A capitalist Democrat.

      by AlphaGeek on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 05:58:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A great idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Snakes on a White House

        On Dobbs tonight, CNN reported that while the money had been proposed to develop a system, it has never been funded. How typical is that?

      •  have you checked out the Open Voting Consortium's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        da, Prime Number

        model evoting system?  

        We have developed (1) a prototype of open-source software for voting machines (2) an electronic voting machine that prints a paper ballot, (3) a ballot verification station that scans the paper ballot and lets a voter hear the selections, and (4) stations with functions to aid visually impaired people so they can vote without assistance. Open source means that anyone can see how the machines are programmed and how they work

        •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jennifer poole, Prime Number

          I've been following the OVC's work for some time now.  It's a great start.  However, I can tell you from hard experience that the road from prototype to a deployment-grade product is, if anything, more difficult than getting to the first-prototype stage.


          "Watching George Bush trying to govern is like
          watching a monkey trying to f**k a football."
          I'm a libertarian, pro-2A capitalist Democrat.

          by AlphaGeek on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 11:27:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, sounds about right to me. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for years now, I've been trying to emphasize the cosumer reliability angle on the evoting machines -- inadequately tested software, produced on the cheap gives bad results. And expensive results, too, as far as local jurisdictions are concerned. And we don't need to speculate -- the history of bad results from evoting software is on the record, in hundreds of local stories reporting local problems with elections, and with voting software not working when delivered, or not being delivered on time at all.

            I think a high-profile IT public/private partnership would be a great thing -- I've never met a software professional who didn't understand the risks of proprietary software, and especially in a situation where end users -- i.e., voters -- don't really have a clue whether it's working right or not.

    •  Can I just say (4+ / 0-)

      that I think it is pitiful that we actually need to restate our rights as citizens of the USA?

      I certainly hope you win.  Those of us in Ohio are doing everything we can to ensure a win by Brunner as well.

      Who needs information when we're living in constant fear? -- Roger Waters, "Radio Kaos," Track 2

      by workingmom OH on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 06:54:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds great, Debra. Good luck! (2+ / 0-)
      And wish us good luck here in Ohio, where I've been working for the last five months to help elect Jennifer Brunner, who is committed to working to rebuild Ohio's shattered and dysfunctional elections system.

      Her opponent has NO elections experience, has said he thinks Ken Blackwell has done a "good job," and is a carpetbagger from Texas who is the son of Dick Cheney's lawyer. Is this someone you'd like to see overseeing the 2008 presidential vote in Ohio?

      We need to get rid of ALL these "trust me" clowns.

      •  Can't wait to work with other election officials! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ozzie, Prime Number

        I am really looking forward to working with Jennifer Brunner, whom I have not met, and Minnesota SOS candidate Mark Ritchie, whom I have met, and other like-minded election officials.  There are many at the local level, too.  

        We can make a huge difference if we work together.  I served on the Executive Board of the National Conference of State Legislaturesfor several years, as well as chairing policy committees there, and we got a great deal done by learning from legislators in other states.  It's very important with term limits, since the time to really learn a subject matter from top to bottom has been shortened to the level of disfunctional in some states.

        It's a shame to miss an opportunity to learn both what DOES work and what does NOT work.

    •  Just a simple "Thank you" - much appreciated. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
        Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
      Tempest even in reason's seat.

      by GreyHawk on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 10:59:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My whole household already voted for you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Early and absentee... With our "spare time," we ran a viral campaign in SF District 5 at coffee shops, video rental stores, cafes, rental apartments, and bars targeting new 18-30 year old voters. I think it worked: 86 new registrations in City Hall today by the deadline!

      Whee - this is fun! I hope we are counted...


      don't block my tubes...

      by a lynn on Tue Oct 24, 2006 at 12:33:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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