The Power of Partnership: Do you know what your election officials have been watching?


Direct from the Dominion web, a marketing video featuring Denver election officials.services from Dominion.

We recommend caution for election officials, along with concern and skepticism for voters and taxpayers.

Aging Voting Machines Sitting Rusts for Hacking

Over the last few years, we have provided many posts on the real risks of Internet voting.  A new report and article highlighting that report, remind us all of the risks of voting machines in use several years ago: Hack the vote: Cyber experts say ballot machines easy targets

Reminder:  We are still using those machines.

Data Breach Today – Infinite Future Harm!

From the Intercept, an explanation of the harm of data retention and theft: Data Theft Today Poses Indefinite Threat of “Future Harm”

We hear continuous claims that “I have nothing to hide, so who cares if they have my data”. Lets look at what might actually happen. The possibilities are endless.

Common Sense: Laws must be Sufficient, Enforceable, and Enforced

In one of his books, Gerry Weinberg pointed out that employee evaluations should be multiplicative not additive, that is, the various dimensions of performance and capabilities should be multiplied rather than added to determine the overall value of an employee.

There is an analogy with laws, including election laws.  Laws must be Sufficient, Enforceable, and Enforced. Missing one of the three, all value is lost.

Net of Insecurity — risks not anticipated by Founders

The Washington Post has a new set of articles, interviewing some of the founders of the Internet on how the it came to be built with insufficient security:

“I believe that we don’t know how to solve these problems today, so the idea that we could have solved them 30, 40 years ago is silly,”…

“They thought they were building a classroom, and it turned into a bank.”

9 things about voting machines

The National Council of State Legislatures has a released a report on voting machines: Elections Technology: Nine Things Legislators May Want to Know

It makes a strong case for the importance of technology in elections, planning, and understanding the details. We especially an additional borrowed list within the report: Ten Things to Know About Selecting a Voting System

Concerned with two partisan registrars? Be careful what you ask for.

How to manage and judge our elections without partisan bias is tough. Occasionally Secretary’s of State act in blatantly partisan ways. Cases in recent history include Catherine Harris in Florida and Ken Blackwell in Ohio.

Here in Connecticut the Secretary of the State proposed turning elections over to a single unelected official in each town, rather than the current two elected registrars of opposing parties.

Meanwhile in Kansas a bill would give the Secretary of State the power to prosecute election fraud.

The limits of Democracy w/o Information

Last week Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, addressed the League of Women Voters of Northeastern Connecticut on a variety of topics. One of the items discussed was the lack of education in civics and its possible link to the lack of participation by younger voters. The two are certainly related, yet we also live in an age when the at least over the last two administrations, the Constitution has been ignored in the name of security – just when those voters have come of age.

Also I recently read “They Know Everything About You”, which I highly recommend. This week the author, Robert Scheer, was interviewed in a seven part series at the Real News. Part three is particularly relevant to the subject of Democracy and information available to the voters. <video>

Too Reliable Computers: A threat to life and to democracy!

Most people are aware of the risks of unreliable computers, yet tend to be oblivious to the distinct risk of too reliable computers.  If computers were as unreliable as people, we would not be at risk of excess trust and overconfidence.

One particular anecdote from lasts night’s Newshour highlights the risks of computers that are too reliable, yet not perfect.  When it comes to medicine (or robotic weapons) too reliable computers can cause harm, including death.  When it comes elections too reliable computers can kill democracy.

Should we trust Internet voting? A Video

A new video from a Princeton student.

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