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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

80 Voters, No Votes?

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

80 Voters, No Votes?

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East Bumfuck has 80 people in it and three mayoral candidates. Joebob runs for mayor and votes for himself. Several friends swear that they voted for him. Total number of votes recorded for him? Zero. This small town provides a great illustration of the issue with electronic voting machines- with only a small number of voters, you can't write this off as statistics (hey, even the best voting machines lose a vote now and then- but they provide a statistically significant sample, which is all that matters- right?). There were only 36 votes recorded for the race.

Paper ballots were available; while the article doesn't say so, I assume few people used them and few people knew that- who wants to count paper, right? Well, when an election makes such little sense, everybody should.

When designing a system for electronic voting, one must make several assumptions:
  • Machines are unreliable and will lose votes
  • People are unreliable and will potentially lose data
  • Machines are vulnerable to tampering and may be modified to lose or change votes
  • People are malicious and will purposefully tamper with data
  • Electronic voting machines are vulnerable to power failures, spikes, and similar supply attacks, some of those attacks could damage the machine and the data stored on it

Which is why I like the Open Voting Consortium, which has addressed many of those issues in a reasonably secure and verifiable fashion.

Until a solution similar to theirs becomes standard, every election is a stolen election, rigged through fraud.
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