Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Evoting in India, Maryland

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the vote-as-often-as-you-want-we'll-make-more dept.

United States 182

Anonymous Coward writes "EVMs are back in the news again. The BBC is reporting on the use of over a million Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in India for Parliamentary elections in April. With a billion people and an electorate of 668 million, it is by far the largest democratic election exercise in the world. A picture of an EVM is provided." And Kierthos writes "An article on Yahoo! News mentions that Maryland's voting terminals will be wrapped in tamper proof tape, which 'just protects that malicious code physically', according to computer scientist Avi Rubin. Also mentioned are California's ongoing system of e-voting, as well as a point on whether Diebold should be banned in California after using uncertified software in last October's election."

cancel ×

182 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

GNAA FP LOLZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424313)

on behalf of redhat, I claim this fp

The Passion : A review (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424314)



I walked out of The Passion not two hours ago. It was worse than many made for tv movies. For example, the never ending close ups of Mary's one tear. If the mother-son relationship was too complex to take in through 10 teary closeups, exactly the same, Mel offers a flashback of a child Jesus falling down and Mary running to him, juxtaposed with Jesus bearing the cross, falling down, with Mary running to him. See the connection?

Then there's the blood splattering everywhere, all the time, with never ending slo-mo. When the cat-o-nine tails rips Jesus' flesh and exposes ribs, now that's human torment that can really drive a religious experience.

Crucifiction was a spectacle of Death, abolished for that reason.

Luckily, we have Mel to thank for bringing the spectacle back 2000 years later.

Re:The Passion : A review (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424397)

Also if you went into the cinema without already knowing the story of Jesus you would have been completely lost. Who would have thought that so much blood could fit inside one man? Mel Gibson delivers a message of hate to anyone unlucky enough to waste money seeing this film.

Re:The Passion : A review (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424674)

ALSO the fact that Gibson didn't have the balls to have an actual JEWISH-LOOKING PERSON play Jesus, instead he cowers to the expectations of white Christian America.

Jim Caviezel, plays Christ, is Jewish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424809)

Jim Caviezel is Jewish.

Although he could pass for Italian.

hmm (5, Interesting)

ghettoboy22 (723339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424317)

If the "tamper proof" tape is what I think it is, that would only show if someone broke the seal. If this happens, does that mean all votes on that machine are thrown out as unreliable? That sure creates the possibility of someone, not liking how pre-election polls are showing their favored candidate, intentionally breaking the seal to throw a wrench as it were into the election. I must be missing something there.....

As far as the overall debate on e-voting, I like how they do it here in Alaska. It's the old "fill in the bubble" tests like you used to take in school. You fill in the bubble on the ballot, which the ballot itself is very well laid out, then when you're done you feed the ballot into an electronic counter which keeps a tally there on the spot. When the polls close, an election worker connects the machine to a phone line, the machine then dials out and reports the results for that precinct. Results are all in w/in ~2-3 hours of the polls closing, and there is defiantly a paper trail that can be followed, if need be.

Re:hmm (1, Insightful)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424344)

If the "tamper proof" tape is what I think it is, that would only show if someone broke the seal. If this happens, does that mean all votes on that machine are thrown out as unreliable? That sure creates the possibility of someone, not liking how pre-election polls are showing their favored candidate, intentionally breaking the seal to throw a wrench as it were into the election. I must be missing something there.....

Well it wouldn't necessarily affect the final results, unless the machines were labeled "Republican", "Democrat", and "Nader Voters". Of course, it would still make a major mess, probably not have a reliable paper trail for hand counting, and in general cause another "Florida" all over again.

Re:hmm (5, Insightful)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424382)

With the elections being as close as they have been, shutting down machines in a few heavily [democratic|republican] districts could easily change the results of the election. You may not know exactly what each individual machine has recorded, but it's easy enough to find areas that you can expect to reliably vote for one of the major parties. If you were to get the results from machines in Denver thrown out, for example, who do you think would benefit?

Re:hmm (2, Funny)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424475)

For some inexplicable reason I didn't think of that.

Well the simple solutiong is tamper tape on top of tamper tape. ;) I bet somebody brought that up in a meeting somewhere.

Re:hmm (1)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424488)

>Well the simple solution is tamper tape on top of tamper tape. ;)

This could get recursive really fast.. :-)

Re:hmm (0, Offtopic)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424815)

No, it's been proven that the more tape you tape the slower it tapes.

Re:hmm (5, Interesting)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424769)

Actually they did things LIKE that in florida -- in counties with electronic voting machines. In black neigborhoods (democratic) voting machines were configured to accept an invalid ballot and throw it away without telling the voter. In republican districts, the machines notified the voter and allowed them to correct their mistakes.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424994)

God bless America, huh?

Re:hmm (0, Redundant)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424387)

You can identify some districts as "heavily Democrat," "heavily Republican," etc and tamper accordingly.

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424424)

Well it wouldn't necessarily affect the final results, unless the machines were labeled "Republican", "Democrat", and "Nader Voters".
No...they'd be labeled "Prince George's County", "Harford County", etcetera, (actually you'd know down to the voting precint, even better) which is enough to tell you "mostly Republican", "mostly Democrat", etcetera. All you have to do is throw out more votes from one side than the other, after all.

Re:hmm (4, Funny)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424354)

Maryland's voting terminals will be wrapped in tamper proof tape.

Cool does it come with that Magic Server Pixie Dust and a Universal Business Adapter (That actually does require an adapter to connect to a unix machine) and some of those other cool Gizmo's on IBM's commericals?

Re:hmm (4, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424398)

This whole argument (aside from the Diebold fiasco(s) ) stems from the Florida Election of 2000 fiasco.

Florida used punch cards. Punch out the perforated block, bingo you've voted.
The fiaso occurred because, what constiuted a "vote" was being subjectviely defined... by whatever party happened to be reading the ballot. Some puches were partially knocked out. Did that constitute a vote? If so, if there was one punch out for one candidate and a partial punch for another, did that invalidate the vote or did it count for the whole punch or the partial one?

On top of that, while they were handling the ballots during the recount, some of the punch outs were coming off!

And don't think you're safe with your pencil and paper! Oh no! It's politics. Any side will find anyway to hem and haw about interpretations of rules and ballots.

That's what partially kicked off this whole EVoting craze in the US. To try to prevent such a thing from occurring again.

Re:hmm (3, Funny)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424491)

"I don't know that pencil mark is outside the line." *stops peering through magnifying glass* "I think its safe to assume that we cannot determine the voter's intent."

Re:hmm (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424664)

And the real problem with the 2000 election is one that is not often addressed directly, but is ceratainly relavant to the current topic.

All voting is a statistical process. No system is perfect, there will always be errors. Thus the system has a margin of error.

The 2000 vote was the problem it was because the vote was inside the margin of error, thus no amount of fiddling, recounting, whatever, could possibly resolve the issue. Statistically speaking, the vote was a dead heat and the only reason it had to be decided by the dead heat in Florida was because it was a dead heat pretty much everywhere else as well.

In terms of the "problem" this is indicative of the choices of candidates being a coin toss to most of the populace, which is, essentially, how we resolved it. By using technology to reduce the margin of error we can avoid the political brouhaha of coin toss elections by allowing one candidate to "win" by 20 votes or some such, but it does nothing to cure the political problems that lead to such dead heat elections in the first place.

Do you want Frog ala Peche, or Peche ala Frog?

Not to mention the problem inherent in such elections where a goodly portion of the voting populace look at the opposing candidates, flip their coin, look at it, then just say "Fuck it, it doesn't even matter," and stay home on election day.

Give us statistically descernable candidates and we just might have election results statistically significant.

Of course, to the candidates themselves such an idea is anathema.

KFG

Re:hmm (3, Informative)

Imperator (17614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424992)

While I agree with you that some election results are really too close to be considered statistically significant, the solution for presidential elections is actually quite simple. Get rid of the winner-takes-all system that all states (but Maine) use for choosing their electors. If Gore and Bush had just split Florida's electors 50-50, the whole debacle could have been avoided. Or better yet, get rid of the whole Electoral College system entirely and use a nationwide popular vote. The more voters you have, the less likely the election will be decided by a few thousand confused elderly voters in Florida. It would also mean that those of us who don't live in "swing states" stop getting ignored by presidential campaigns.

Re:hmm (2, Interesting)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424985)

With pencil and paper it's easier to give explicit details of what constitutes a vote and make it clear to the voters what they need to do. Example: Each candidate has a box directly to the right of their name (for the really stupid the correct way up is indicated on the slip). A cross (other marks aren't acceptable) must be placed within the box for the candidate you wish to vote for. Marks made outside the box or in multiple boxes invalidate the voting slip.

This may seem a little strict, but provided the voters are properly informed there really shouldn't be any problems. But this is the real world, so of course there would be :)

Re:hmm (2, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424921)

If you're going down that line of election rigging, you don't even need to break the tape. Just walk past the machines with a fair size magnet and you should do a good job of frying/invalidating the screens and/or memory.

Don't mod this funny BTW, I'm deadly serious and AFAICS it's quite possible.

http://slashdot.org/news.yahoo.com (-1, Offtopic)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424320)

Great linking. No, really, its great.

Come on (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424346)

What, what? I am just saying Slashdot is going to Slashdot itself one of these days from all the 404 generated pages. I mean, is it that hard for the Editors to check links?

I am not complaining, but please, think of the Domokon.

Tamper-proof tape? (5, Funny)

Derling Whirvish (636322) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424327)

Oh riiighht. All you have to do to prevent tampering with an on-line computer is to "wrap it in tamper-proof tape." Sure. Uh huh.

Re:Tamper-proof tape? (4, Funny)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424347)

That reminds me of the good ol' days when people would put condoms on their floppy disks to prevent themselves from catching computer viruses.

Re:Tamper-proof tape? (3, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424359)

"Oh riiighht. All you have to do to prevent tampering with an on-line computer is to "wrap it in tamper-proof tape." Sure. Uh huh."

Sadly, they still use that in the future. It didn't keep anybody out of Mr. Spock's quarters.

Re:Tamper-proof tape? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424362)

iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp --dport 80 -j TAMPER-PROOF

Re:Tamper-proof tape? (2, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424376)

Shhh... That is one of the new security features in XP SP2! Keep it under wraps!

Re:Tamper-proof tape? (5, Insightful)

Antibozo (410516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424378)

Oh riiighht. All you have to do to prevent tampering with an on-line computer is to "wrap it in tamper-proof tape." Sure. Uh huh.

I've followed the developments in Maryland closely, and what's been noticeably absent from every report I've seen on the subject has been any discussion of what the consequences would be if the tamper-proof tape shows tampering.

More to the point: can anyone disenfranchise a whole bunch of voters by just damaging the tape, deliberately or accidentally, while voting?

Tamper-proof?? NO SUCH THING! (3, Insightful)

Pejorian (258646) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424507)

They should know that there's no such thing as "tamper proof" anyway! Only "tamper resistant".

Re:Tamper-proof tape? (3, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424853)

Exactly, they've got it all wrong. They should use that plastic they wrap CDs in.

NO MORE MICROSOFT ADVERTS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424331)

how come i get a microsoft advert on the right hand side, or a microsoft advert at the centre page?

good old slashdot... sponsored by microsoft.

Let me know when you're not accepting dirty money and I'll be back.

See you next year.

Not even close to how it is in Brazil... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424339)

Everybody talks about electronic vote - just look at Brazil. I'm 30 years old, have been voting for 12, and have never voted on paper. They've been doing this for a long long time there, and did so in the last presidential election 2 years ago.

This is how we vote in Brazil (google translate from portuguese):

http://www.tre-mg.gov.br/eleicoes/simulacao_de_vot acao_na_urna_ele.htm [tre-mg.gov.br]

Decertified in Wisconsin (5, Interesting)

bmasel (129946) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424340)

Somehow, none of the articles ever mention that the Wisconsin State Elections Board decertified unverifiable touchscreen systems after I convinced them a year ago. Too far ahead of the curve, I guess.

The Executive Director's report [state.wi.us]

stupid stupid (1, Troll)

SteveXE (641833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424341)

I dont get why its so hard for them to secure these damn things, why dont they use a custom os and custom software and lock the damn source in a vault where nobody can get it. This is far to important to leave unsecure, if they cant promise 100% unhackable voting then they shouldnt use it period.

Re:stupid stupid (4, Insightful)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424470)

1) A custom OS WILL have bugs. All new software does. Do you want to vote on buggy software?

2) Part of the outcry (at least here) against e-voting is exactly that - that nobody can see the source, which means we have no way of knowing if it's correct, if it has backdoors, etc.

3) Nothing is 100%, expecially when people are involved.

Re:stupid stupid (4, Insightful)

ejaw5 (570071) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424473)

Who's to say the source doesn't contains election-rigging code, and locking it up so no one can review it. Even if it was "open source", someone at each poll location would have to review the source and compile it there in front of a few officials just to make sure no one loads a malicious binary. That may not even prevent a code snippet:
while(1)
{
voteRepublican();
}
from being sneaked in to the source undetected.

Re:stupid stupid (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424497)

I think a truly secure voting system is one that is verifiably i.e. it must be open source.

Don't you realize... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424342)

...everything's secure when you use Duct Tape!

Voting in India (4, Interesting)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424345)

Each party has a symbol e.g. Elephant, Lotus, wheel etc. If you want to vote for the ruling BJP, you press the button next to the Lotus. That's how they have electronic voting even with the illiteracy problem.

Re:Voting in India (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424392)

You guys let retarded people vote ?

Re:Voting in India (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424418)

We are not talking about Florida here.

Re:Voting in India (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424458)

atleast we dont let retarded people rule the country

Re:Voting in India (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424448)

If you want to vote for the ruling BJP

Blow-Job Party? Here, we call them Democrats.

Why is the vote of the illerterate that important? (3, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 10 years ago | (#8425046)

Face it, if the illerterate masses are not read up on the issues they are voting on. How can they even know what they are voting on?

If it is a vote for an elected official, at least one can judge on what that person has said to them - via personal, radio, and TV appearences. Not perfect, but something.

What about other issues? What does an illertarte really know? At least the literate can read the text of a ballot measure [not that many do].

In the end, what is the value of an uninformed vote?

If radio/TV ads are as deceptive in high-illeteracey democracies such as India, as they are here in the US - it the perfect argument against illiterate voters.

I don't have an answer, most alternatives are also wrong. Just a question...

Diebold again? (4, Insightful)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424357)

After everything we've heard about Diebold in the past few months - thier ties to Bush, uncertified software, etc - does anyone really trust them to accurately count and record the results of the votes?

Maybe the states that are still using Diebold machines know something I don't, but I really don't see why you'd want to take such a risk with something as important as voting.

Re:Diebold again? (5, Insightful)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424427)

The problem is that they don't want to take any risk--in particular, they don't want to risk not getting reelected. They probably figure if they help Diebold get the contract, Diebold will help them keep their jobs--it's the bureaucratic "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" philosophy.

Re:Diebold again? (2, Insightful)

qtp (461286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424510)

Maybe the states that are still using Diebold machines know something I don't, but I really don't see why you'd want to take such a risk with something as important as voting.

There are a lot of people in the United States that do not really believe in the ability of the "common person" to make valid decisions when it comes to selecting a government. There are others who believe that democracy actually has a negative effect on a society because it counteracts what they believe to be natural selection (ei: the poor will vote for candidates that will "punish the succseful" by asking them to pay taxes in relation to the degree of their success).

These are the same people who would remove qualified scientists from an advisory panel because their findings do not support a particular ideology or business model.

They beleive that their agenda and their agenda alone defines "American Interest", and that to leave such a thing to the whim of the public would be dangerous and foolish.

Of course these are the same guys who backed Saddamm Hussein during the 1980s, and mislead the public about a (non-existant) Al-Qieda/Iraq link and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Re:Diebold again? (1)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424511)

After everything we've heard about Diebold in the past few months - thier ties to Bush, uncertified software, etc - does anyone really trust them
Bush? :)

Solution to the e-voting problem (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424358)

  1. Discard all electronic voting machines
  2. Use paper ballots
  3. Complain about your life, blame everything on the elected official
  4. Repeat in four years

This provides identical results at greatly reduced cost and time.

the Netherlands (3, Informative)

ward.deb (757075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424365)

In the Netherland we already do it for years.. What's so new about this?

Re:the Netherlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424421)

Wij amerikaners willen niet dat onze verkiezingen "gekocht", "verkocht" en "verneukt" worden zoals die in nederland zijn. Dat de LPF toch zetels krijgt wijzt sterk naar corruptie aan.

Ich bin ein Berliner (0)

cynical kane (730682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424461)

Die Lederhosen sind zerstorben. Coca-Cola uber alles.

Re:the Netherlands (3, Insightful)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424589)

Doing it for 60 times more people spread over 75 times wider area, where about 40% can't read.

Re:the Netherlands (0)

ward.deb (757075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424685)

Ok. You're right. But how do people who can't read know at who they're voting? :P

Re:the Netherlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424738)

Doing it for 60 times more people spread over 75 times wider area, where about 40% can't read.

Ever tried voting while using x ;-)

I'll tell you what's different! Re:the Netherlands (1)

Sam Nitzberg (242911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424782)

You have Nicholas Wirth AND Vietse Venema !

http://www.iamsam.com

Tell your US Representatives about it (3, Informative)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424396)

This site has email and other contact information for many US Representatives.

http://www.congress.com/ [congress.com]

Then find out how they voted... (4, Informative)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424416)

Going a few links into that site, we find a list of how each person voted on roll call votes at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2004/index.asp [house.gov]

(ironically enough, the list is as tallied by the electronic voting machine)

Its time to embrace this tech (4, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424406)

First of all, "real" voting systems are prone to "hacks" too - look at the election of 2000. Ballots are lost, they are fudged, they are counted multiple times...I don't think people have an appreciation for the flaws inherent in the current system, which is also outrageously expensive over the long term.

We need to think carefully about this tech but we also need to embrace it. We already let automation run our reactors, manager all of our money, keep us from running into each other at intersections, etc.

Re:Its time to embrace this tech (5, Insightful)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424442)

True, true.

I'd say the difference is that electronic voting has the potential to make vote tampering that much easier and/or harder to track. Especially where there's no paper trail, you really have no choice but to accept whatever number the machine gives you.

Even assuming no fraud (unlikely) the severity of the mistakes varies....a mistake counting paper ballots might result in a small change in the final tally, but a typo in the program could reverse the results of the election.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all in favor of using computers to make things easier. (Otherwise, would I be posting to Slashdot?) But if we're going to move to e-voting, the systems need to have the strongest possible security and reliability...and so far, they don't.

Re:Its time to embrace this tech (3, Informative)

startled (144833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424739)

What I think is odd is that it takes so long for people to arrive at the obvious solutions: optical scan, or electronic voting with a printed record that the voter can review before leaving.

California has gradually come around to that way of thinking, over the protests of everyone responsible for buying an expensive, fraud-inviting, paperless e-voting machine. So now, barring anything unexpected, in 2006 they'll be great.

I guess that's the point of bureacracy-- slow down anything-- but it's still frustrating to see the long, slow process and the numerous small missteps.

This is NOT a technical problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424978)

This is a motivation issue.

The problem is that everyone in the system has incentives to distort the vote some way. You should evaluate any proposed technology by how much easier or harder it makes miscounting the vote.

Electronic voting. Lemme see. No paper trail. Software that nobody audited. Internal data and communication that nobody admits to having access to. Does that sound easier or harder to get away with shenanigans with than paper voting?

The other things that you mention all have the huge advantage that the people who build the system aren't expected to have huge financial incentives (ie bribes) for messing up. Except for finance, where (in the USA at least) a legal system that makes any doubtful outcome be ruled in the customer's favour makes banks be very concerned about getting things right.

Unless you know what problem technology is supposed to solve for you, you can't hope to evaluate whether technology will have a chance of solving it. Electronic voting doesn't have a hope in hell of improving visibility and accountability in the system.

MERKINS AND FRENCH TO INVADE HAITI (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424423)

To save the niggers. Shrub was very entertaining as usual with his rose garden speech about protecting freedom blah blah blah. Anyway I encourage every merkin to vote for shrub again as he is truly a very talented comedian. Thanks.

Maybe we should export jobs to india. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424449)

If the best we can come up with in the US is diebold's tamper proof tape, then perhaps our jobs should go to india.

Come-on, it appears the whole world is doing this e-voting stuff.. let's join the 21st century.

I'm guessing not long (2, Informative)

miu (626917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424459)

"We are working on a model for European countries and also for the US," Mr Simha told the BBC News Online.

I wonder how long it will take this to become politicized as "those Indians are stealing our jobs, now they are trying to teach us how to run a democracy".

I'm on teh spoke (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424478)

GNAA (sung to the tune to Y.M.C.A. by the Village People)

Black man, there's no need to feel bad.
I said, black man, c'mon don't be so drab.
Don't let those bloggers ruin your day.
There are still pla-ces to be gay.

Black man, there's this place you should see.
I said, black man, fire up IRC.
There's this channel, that I'm sure you will like.
Every-thing is gonna be all-right.

It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!
It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!

You can go as you please,
Feel your hair in the breeze,
Crapflood Live Journal with ease!

It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!
It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!

You can write a good troll,
For the next Slashdot poll,
You can jerk off to goatse's hole!

Black man, why be here all alone?
I said, black man, you can get yourself boned.
I said, black man, you can get on teh spoke,
With thou-sands of gay nigger blokes.

Black man, are you down with this funk?
I said, black man, why you touching your junk?
Just go there, go to #gnaa
And apply for membership today!

It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!
It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!

You can go as you please,
Feel your hair in the breeze,
Crapflood Live Journal with ease!

G-N-A-A ... you'll find it at the G-N-A-A.

Black man, there's no need to feel bad.
I said, black man, c'mon don't be so drab.

G-N-A-A ... you'll find it at the G-N-A-A.
Black man, are you down with this funk? I said, black man, why you touching your junk?

Why don't we have tech-literate judges? (2, Funny)

flossie (135232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424501)

"Without the least doubt, I say the machine is fully tamper-proof," the judge declared.

I'm impressed by the fact that they clearly have technically literate judges in India. As a mere engineer, I would be very hesitant to proclaim an electronic system tamper-proof. Clearly Indian judges are experts in electronics, cryptography and the law. Very impressive.

Re:Why don't we have tech-literate judges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424847)

That is what you get when you have lawyers to decide on technical matters. Don't blame us. You got Bush out there doing something similar.

Don't bother testing it, we have to ship it now! (3, Insightful)

flossie (135232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424525)

[The technicians] have been told to meet a deadline brought forward by the Election Commission after the poll was called early by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.

And we all know that bringing the deadline forward to meet changing customer requirements is the best possible way of ensuring that software is bug free ...

Diebold banned? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424533)

Diebold should just be banned, period. My bank used to have a bunch of Diebold ATMs at the drive-through and in the main lobby, but they just replaced them with some much cooler color LCD-based machines from some other vendor. For some reason ... I felt relieved.

Re:Diebold banned? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424590)

Diebold should just be banned, period. My bank used to have a bunch of Diebold ATMs at the drive-through and in the main lobby, but they just replaced them with some much cooler color LCD-based machines from some other vendor. For some reason ... I felt relieved.

Thank you, ScrewMaster, for your textbook demonstration of prejudice. [webster.com]

Who? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424544)

Judge K Shridhar Rao, in a recent order in connection with an election dispute, ruled that rigging was not possible with the use of EVMs. "Without the least doubt, I say the machine is fully tamper-proof," the judge declared.

Ah yes, well known cybersecurity expert Judge K Shridhar Rao.

Go get me a Slurpy, Shridhar!

Technical specifications for Indian EVM (5, Interesting)

shamir_k (222154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424546)

The specs for the Indian EVM [bel-india.com] . This is definitely going to be the most widely deployed and used e-voting machine in the history of mankind. Seems pretty secure, except for the lack of a paper trail. But with 600 million eligible voters, I guess the lack of a paper trail means a lot of forests have been saved. Besides most attacks against the election system tend to be pretty unsophisticated , ie, boot-capturing and voter initimidation.

Looks like this machine will definitely go a long way in ensuring the fairness of Indian elections. Maybe I'll even vote next time.

Re:Technical specifications for Indian EVM (2, Insightful)

flossie (135232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424641)

I'm not convinced by those specs. They seem like marketing material designed to fool those the technologically illiterate. How is the fact that the software program in "Assembly Language" is fused on a customised micro processor chip" a guarantee that the system is tamper-proof?

Re:Technical specifications for Indian EVM (1)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424752)

Well, I guess it keeps people from altering the program after the chip is created. (Unless they switch chips, of course)

Re:Technical specifications for Indian EVM (2, Insightful)

flossie (135232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424786)

Even if they don't switch chips, what does it mean to fuse assembly code with custom processors? Assembly code has to be converted into machine code before it can be used, so the statement sounds dodgy to start with. Then, you have the problem that if the code is written in assembly language, it is going to be very, very hard for any auditors to check that there is no election rigging going on - have you ever tried reading someone else's assembly code?

Re:Technical specifications for Indian EVM (1)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424798)

You're right, it does sounds like technobabble.

Re:Technical specifications for Indian EVM (4, Insightful)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424667)

Maybe I'll even vote next time.
Oh very nice attitude. Exactly what we need to ensure good governance. Educated people sitting at home on election day. After all, you can't be bothered to spend 20 minutes going to the polling booth once every 5 years, can you?

Don't bother complaining about the government again. You don't have that right.

Re:Technical specifications for Indian EVM (2, Informative)

shamir_k (222154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424810)

For me, it would be more like 26 hours by flight, since I am currently in Washington DC. Thats not counting the 2-3 hour long queues outside most polling stations in Bangalore.

But considering the security these Deibold machines seem to have, maybe I can vote in DC in November! :-D

A perfect way to vote (-1, Redundant)

Swedentom (670978) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424550)

Just set up a poll on Slashdot! I think one would have to leave out the CowboyNeal option though.

So how SHOULD e-voting machines be built? (1)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424557)

Everyone here has an opinion on e-voting, so...

What is the most reliable method for voting? Paper ballots with lines drawn on them? Open source voting software? If you were in charge of developing the voting techniques for the next election, what would you do?

Re:So how SHOULD e-voting machines be built? (5, Insightful)

qigong (688252) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424974)

Before diving in to what kind of design we should be using, I think some time needs to be spend deciding the design parameters. The solution should probably:

  1. Be auditable.
  2. Be easily testable.
  3. Be anonymous (with respect to individual votes).
  4. Be intuitive to use.
  5. Be fair.

The Nevada Gaming Board has been cited as a good example of the kind of extremely paranoid testing and auditing that needs to go into a system this important. However, for a voting system we've added some new and challenging criteria- anonymity, ease of use, and fairness. None of these individually are difficult, but when combined with the testabilty and auditability become particularly challenging. How do you ensure that individual votes are getting properly registered while still maintaining the anonymity of the votes?

Personally, I don't see how all of these criteria can be met in a "remote" (e.g. web) voting system. However, I think these problems are all solvable with our current technology, if we are careful. In fact, I think that if a system were designed carefully, we could even come up with a system where we can, if necessary, confirm (validate) a region or even nation's voting results by storing individual voting results on voter-owned smart cards.

Assume we set up a system where every voter is issued a voting smart card that they retain possession over. When you go in to vote you stick your smart card in the voting machine. You then vote, and it records your choices on the card. Audits could then take place after an election by having randomly selected voters come in and stick their smart cards into a seperate vote validation system that retallies the results and allows voters to confirm their vote selection. Using statistics, you can set a threshold for when the error level is too suspiciously high, and require revotes in the regions with anomalous results. By using different vendors to provide the voting machines, smart cards, and vote auditing system, you can greatly increase your assurance that no entity has tampered with the voting results. Apart from the influences of the media... and politicians... and education system... and religions.....

On second thought, forget the whole thing. :)

This doesn't solve the real problem: (4, Interesting)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424561)

Gerrymandering [wikipedia.org] ? (More on this via google [google.com] )

old news (1, Redundant)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424577)


Meanwhile, the Netherlands has had electronic voting for over 10 years now
Details here [cs.kun.nl]

I almost was a tech for those (3, Interesting)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424592)

Recently the election board or whoever was in charge of all that had at least one operatiopn recruiting tech people to get these things in shape and deployed. I wouldn't touch it with someone elses ten foot pole. Their whole opration seemed to be on a very last minute frame of mind. They were using timelines that gave only a few days from date of hire (date of job posting actually) to setting up machines in the field. I got no indication that any sort of security checks were being done on these people, and while I'm not a fan of adding more security clearance required jobs, should just any shmoe be able to get one of these jobs without being checked out? Seems fairly untrustworthy to me, and from my perspective, I would not want to be the one who signed off on a machine where something went squirrely.

And whats so difficult about having a printed voter verifiable receipt anyway?

India, Maryland? (1)

bitflip (49188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424665)

Oh, I thought all those jobs were going out of the country, or something. I guess I'll move to Maryland for a job.

Why didn't someone tell me?

Ban Diebold (1, Insightful)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424711)

... whether Diebold should be banned in California after using uncertified software in last October's election.

Diebold should be banned: everywhere, period.

-kgj

India is a town in Maryland? (1, Funny)

aat (106366) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424771)

India is a town in Maryland? I never knew that....

Or maybe the headline was supposed to have been
Evoting in India and Maryland

Voting machines in Maryland (4, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424830)

I was in a Maryland high school the other day, and there was a pile of black containers labeled "Diebold" addressed to the voting board, sitting unattended in the cafeteria.

Each case was held closed by a wire lockout, available only to those elite groups who receive electrical supply catalogs.

I of course chose not to mess with them. Any come-from-behind victory I make on Tuesday will be purely coincidental.

yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424857)

Taco, this is getting boring.

Why don't you put up a post reminding people to vote in the March 3rd primaries and suggest some issues to debate?

Interested in setting up a panel in NYC (July) (2, Informative)

Sam Nitzberg (242911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424858)

I am interested in setting up a panel in NYC (New York, New York, USA) somewhere between July 9 and July 11.

Some topics that color my view of e-voting systems briefly follow :

My concern is that any system be appropriately thought out, formally and precisely defined, using rigidly designed systems (not necessarily off-the-shelf), made to precisely and verifiably conduct voting tansactions, without being able to disclose, leak, or bleed any information that is not supposed to escape the system.

The Johns Hopkins study is an excellent reference and resource on the issues that have to be addressed.

I am personally interested in setting up a panel in New York in Mid-July (not much - just about an hour to an hour and-a-half), but at an interesting venue. I am not offering funding, but there could be some visibility.

I would welcome hearing from anyone who is doing interesting work in this area - in the US or overseas, that would be interested in participating on such a panel, to include related topics on technology-and-democracy.

Thank you,

Sam Nitzberg
sam@iamsam.com
http://www.iamsam.com

I'll tell you how it goes on tuesday (0)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424881)

I will be voting in the primary in Maryland. Well Actually I will only be voting for school board cause I am not a registered republicrat. I am very curious to see whether this touch screen crap is gonna work or not.

As in shrinkwrap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8424913)

That's the ticket. If it is 'sealed' as in shrink wrapped, as in Windows, it must be safe, reliable, and trustworthy. Nevermind whats on the inside.

Arguments Against E-Voting Other Than Security (3, Insightful)

ltsmash (569641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424934)

I don't think online voting is a good idea, not necessary for security reasons but for political reasons. If voting is as easy as "pointing and clicking", we are going to get a lot more votes from people who have done little to nothing to follow the election. If someone is willing to register to vote and then take time from their busy day to actually vote, it's much more likely that they've at least studied a little about the candidates; e.g. they aren't just randomly at their computer clicking on a "Vote Now!" link.

physical insecurity of voting terminals (2, Informative)

rakerman (409507) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424949)

In Physical security of electronic voting terminals [ncl.ac.uk] Tobin Fricke says "A cart of Diebold electronic voting machines was delivered today to the common room of this Berkeley, CA boarding house, which will be a polling place on Tuesday's primary election. The machines are on a cart which is wrapped in plastic wrap (the same as the stuff we use in the kitchen). A few cable locks (bicycle locks, it seems) provide the appearance of physical security, but they aren't threaded through each machine."

See my site on the issue in Canada, including international reports: Paper Vote Canada [papervotecanada.ca] .

verifiedvoting.org (3, Interesting)

Karl-Friedrich Lenz (755101) | more than 10 years ago | (#8424963)

Everyone interested in this issue should take a look at the VerifiedVoting Website [verifiedvoting.org] .

Electronic voting needs to solve two problems: Guarantee that every vote is counted exactly and guarantee that everyone can trust that result.

As Schneier [schneier.com] points out, there can be no trust without a paper trail for verification. So it is quite important to support legislation mandating such a paper trail.

Make Room for Maryland, Red Green! (2, Interesting)

annielaurie (257735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8425024)

Although the Baltimore Sun [sunspot.net] , our local oracle, is strangely silent on the voting-systems aspect of the primary, the Maryland Board of Elections is not. They've developed a special website [mdvotes.org] to inform the citizenry of how "Easy...Accurate...Secure" the new voting system will be.

Peruse the training film (wmd only), download a registration form, see a sample screen. Above all, don't miss the FAQ. My nomination for Best FAQ is:
Q: How do I know the system will work properly on Election Day?
A: Each piece of equipment is prepared for the election by election staff and a public test is held to verify this process. Before this process and after the public test is completed, all equipment is sealed and secured until being opened by a bi-partisan team of election judges in the polling location on Election Day.

In addition to the Website, we've been favored by bus posters, billboards, and even a few commercials on local cable.

I am oh, so pleased to see even more of my tax money being squandered on these systems--this time just to tell me how wonderful they will be. I'm going to vote when the polls open Tuesday (it is a Democratic and Republican primary here), then leave immediately for a trip. I feel sure other Maryland Slashdot readers will have volumes to say about the experience.

Anne
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?