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Re: Will a vote for John Kerry be counted by a Hart InterCivic eSlate3000 in Honolulu?
From: Bart.Lansing () kohls com
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 09:29:11 -0500

Jason, I have a rather direct question:  Given what you know...and what 
you wrote....why in blazes did you cast your vote electronically?

Bart Lansing
Manager, Desktop Services/Lotus Notes
Kohl's IT

full-disclosure-admin () lists netsys com wrote on 10/20/2004 08:24:59 PM:

I just voted for John Kerry at a walk-in absentee ballot polling 
place in Honolulu County using an eSlate3000 (unit serial number 
A05A0B) made by Hart Intercivic: http://www.hartintercivic.com

I was told by the official who gave me the choice of voting on paper
or voting electronically that the electronic voting machines weren't
supposed to be here yet, but that since they arrived in time for the
2004 election, they were being used anyway.

Will my vote be counted? That depends on a number of unknowns, such 
as whether or not the unit on which my vote was cast subsequently 
malfunctions, rendering the entire vote tabulating memory card corrupt.

I did not receive a paper printout following the submission of my 
electronic ballot.

Excluding the obvious possibility that fraud may occur, either to 
stuff the electronic 'ballot box' with false votes, or to 
intentionally destroy or fail to count votes for a particular 
candidate, there are risks inherent to electronic voting that do not
exist in the same way with paper ballots. And although there are 
technical safeguards possible that seem like common sense, these 
safeguards continue to be ignored. Why?

Will we ever see common sense safeguards added to the electronic 
voting process?

A search for known security vulnerabilities or potential flaws in 
voting equipment manufactured and sold by Hart InterCivic turns up:


Prior to casting my vote, I provided a written 'application' to vote
containing my current address and other contact information. 
Election officials have every bit of information necessary to inform
me in the event of a memory card failure or other malfunction that 
causes my electronic vote not to be counted properly.

We know the very equipment that I just used to cast my vote has 
malfunctioned in the past. There have never been any reports that 
any voter has ever been allowed to revote following the loss of 
their electronic vote database record. Why not?

I find it absurd that common sense solutions to electronic voting 
problems are not being used. The vote I just cast could be made 
available for my anonymous review after it has been counted. For 
that matter, all votes made by all voters could be aggregated and 
published such that any voter could confirm that the vote that was 
counted was in fact the vote that they cast.

Such a safeguard would ensure that no fraud could occur without 
timely detection by those voters who are directly affected, and no 
vote would go uncounted or be miscounted by mistake unless voters 
choose not to perform such data validation.

If we're going to allow these electronic voting devices in our 
elections, then we the people must be empowered to become the all 
volunteer quality assurance army that validates the data output.

Reasonable people can live with the necessity to trust election 
officials to be honest, and the criminal justice procedures to hold 
them accountable when they are not, but who are we supposed to hold 
accountable when equipment failures and flawed computer disaster 
recovery planning result in the secret exclusion of members of the 
public from access to their right to vote?

If anyone has any further information about Hart InterCivic and the 
eSlate3000, please contact me directly.


Jason Coombs
jasonc () science org

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