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Saturday, November 06, 2004

a couple thoughts

1. Reconstructing votes.

It occured to me that it may be possible to reconstruct who voted for whom with optiscan as well as with the paper-roll based trails.

If the optiscan takes the large ballots and stacks them one by one on top of each other, as each person votes, then you can do the same as with the paper roll: if you know the order in which people voted, you can then match each ballot to each person and find out who they voted for.

2. Precious Memories.

Paper ballot boxes are big. They're just physically big objects. That makes them difficult to alter if people are watching.

DRE memory cards are small, and given the industry, will only get smaller. That means in theory, once voting is done, if you're physically deliverying the memory cards...

a little "hey look over there" slight of hand and...

you've swapped one or more cards for ones you have pre-coded, thereby replacing thousands of votes in an instant. Think this is unlikely?

Bev Harris has recommended that due to the insecurity of the modem dial-in setups used to report votes to the central tabulator, people should Simply drive the vote cartridges from each polling place.

Avi Rubin has reported

One by one, we removed the memory cards from the machines. I held them in my hand as chief judge Marie was ready to load them into one of the machines that we designated as the accumulator. How fragile. All of the votes from the entire precinct in my hand. Substituting those cards with five identical looking cards, one could replace all of the ballots that were cast with bogus ones.
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