From: full-disclosure-admin () lists netsys com
[mailto:full-disclosure-admin () lists netsys com] On Behalf Of
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,
technical problem can be reduced to observing how the election
officials in various places have historically constructed
influence just those that can be influenced in just those
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
to do their ballot construction differently as it does for
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
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
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
Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.