[Fsfe-ie] E-Voting letter and IFSO logo
Cathal Mc Ginley
cathalmcginley at eircom.net
Thu Apr 8 17:04:57 CEST 2004
Thanks for your feedback & suggestions, Éibhear; I've incorporated most
of it into a new draft, which I've uploaded to the same page:
> I think it's worth emphasising that if this new system comes in, the
> election process will be in the control of a pair of private companies
> who are not even indigenous to Ireland.
A valid point, but hard to make without sounding Euro-phobic. I think we
must remain focused on the software concern - if a foreign company had
produced Free Software for this system, the problems I refer to would go
away (although all the others would remain).
> Perhaps you might put after "...a backwards step in terms of
> democracy, and it is natural that people are opposed to it." the
> "Consider that with the current system every citizen...
Thanks, I've included a variation of this. A direct appeal works very
> I'm concerned that the paragraph that covers anonymity of voters isn't
> correct ... requires some social engineering as well as computing
> know-how to pull off.
Quite right, it requires complicity on the part of the election
officials as well as non-random vote recording. I hadn't made this
clear. I've moved this point to the second paragraph and re-worded it.
This is actually one concern that won't be solved by the Voter Verified
Audit Trail, but only by being able to study the code and ensure that
it's the same code running on the machines. (Perhaps I should mention
this in the letter). I think this is a valid concern but I certainly
don't want to undermine our case. If it can't be put plainly, we can
take it out.
> I would add to the point about the audit the following: "The source
> code for the computer programs used in June's forthcoming election
> will not be handed over to the Department of the Environment until
> after September....
I've put this in too. It leads me to think of putting: "Why is the
Department of the Environment privileged over all other Irish citizens
in being allowed to see this code?", but I think the general gist of
that point has already been made elsewhere in the letter. Perhaps a line
for the conclusion?
> "Elections are often won and lost by a handful of votes...
I've included this as part of the conclusion, it nicely emphasizes the
flaws of the system in a way that should worry politicians. Excellent.
When we speak of free
software, we are referring
to freedom, not price.
-- 'found haiku' from the GPL
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