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Comments on Rick Sincere News and Thoughts: Return to the Sausage Factory

Updated: 2017-10-26T23:20:19.081-04:00


Whoops. Forgot to put my name on the previous pos...


Whoops. Forgot to put my name on the previous post.

-Justin Moore

voting statistics for two North Carolina elections and four Virginia elections.

Rick, you take my breath away with the strength of...


Rick, you take my breath away with the strength of your convictions, combined with how often they are stunningly incorrect.Where shall we start?By requiring that the electronic pollbooks generate a paper print-out, this proposed law renders them pointless.What the law actually calls for -- according to the section you cite -- is that the poll books print out an audit log as they go. The part you cite does not require a full paper copy of every single voter record, merely a continuous log of who voted. Such a log would be tremendously useful for auditing elections.The problem comes with that last sentence, which says that political parties can appoint their own "experts" to examine the code. There is nothing that prevents the political parties from appointing someone from a competing company to review the source code of its rival. No wonder the vendors object to this provision!Would you -- and the vendors -- be satisfied with a provision which states that the three people who are selected by each party chair cannot work -- in the past, present or future -- for a competitor?I explained to the subcommittee that there is no demand by voters for immediate adoption of VVPAT.I think this is a classic case of projection; election officials oppose VVPAT, so they convince themselves that voters don't want it, either. And the voters who do advocate for VVPAT are somehow tarred as "Luddites" or simply aren't counted. Besides, if there really was no call for VVPAT, why do over half the states in the U.S. have laws mandating VVPAT? In fact, there are only 10 states in which VVPAT has not been adopted or is working its way through the legislature.What really gored Davis' ox was that, when she and Blakemore, at separate times, made statements that were clearly untrue, the whole audience erupted spontaneously in cries of "No, no, no."I don't know exactly what was said, but my experience is that certain election officials have a unique concept of what is "clearly untrue." For example, after a meeting of the Hugo Commission I spoke with a Virginia election official who told me with unwavering faith that the 4,500 votes lost in Carteret County, NC in 2004 were solely due to human error. The machines, the official told me, worked perfectly. This, despite a letter from the vendor admitting their machines made the mistake, the written and spoken testimony of the Director of the Carteret County Board of Elections, confirmation of all of the above by the NC SBOE, and a clear explanation of what happened (the machine's electronic storage filled up, yet it continued to accept votes and tell voters everything was A-OK).This must have been embarrassing [...]I agree. It's embarrassing to have election officials behave with such elementary-school manners.Yet, as a member of the Hugo Commission and now in her larger role as a legislator, she has proved to be a voice of sanity when yielding to the Luddites would be the politically expedient position.That's strange. I believe she shot down the recommendations of actual technological experts and instead yielded to aristocratic election officials who "know best." The recommendations of real computer experts, including* Dr. Ron Rivest, a full MIT professor of computer science and co-founder of the RSA encryption algorithm,* Dr. Doug Jones, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Iowa and former Chair of the Iowa Board of Voting Equipment Examiners,* Dr. Hector Garcia-Molina, Chair of the Stanford Department of Computer Science,* Dr. Charles Van Loan, Chair of the Cornell Department of Computer Science,* Dr. David Dobkin, Chair of the Princeton Department of Computer Science,* Dr. David Notkin, Chair of the University of Washinton Department of Computer Science,* Several hundred other professional computer scientists, listed at the above link.In all my posts to this blog, Rick, you've never once responded to how these people can be Luddites, while you and your colleagues are the shining beacon of technological wisdom. You've always found some other comment o[...]