(I have shifted from Impressionistic Transcription to other modes, need to listen and learn.
Phil Windley, blogger and former CIO of the great State of Utah.
Adina Levin, Socialtext rock star by day, freedom fighter by night.
Bill Stotesbury, Representative Hart Intercivic, an election company first and a technology company first. There is learning to happen on both sides. How to extend accessibility. Comparative risk of electronic voting systems and traditional ones, both have flaws.
Gary Chapman, University of Texas, professor of policy. CPSR: Founded the first public interest organization on the Internet. Shameful that we ended up in the same place we did in Texas after Florida, after 22 years of work. Lots of machines are unsuitable to hold this public role in the United States. Recommends this Salon article from today's issue. He is in favor of verified paper ballots.
Phil: the result of this session should be a call to action. who do you talk to
Adina: How can people in technology make a difference. This is a really live issue, an opportunity to get involved. The voting system was brought in by an act after Florida with $40m. In each state, implementation is at a county-by-county level, pay attention at the county clerk's office for the system, process before and during the election, but their choices are from the secretary of state level. Nevada brought in people from the gaming industry, differs by state. Check the process at the county level. There is a bill at the national level addressing the voter verified paper trail and a better process -- so support it by calling, writing, faxing, visiting your representatives.
Gary: The term electronic voting goes beyond this generation of equipment. How do we ensure that systems are developed with the right standards in use while using them to increase accessibility.
Bill: People don't see differentiation between DRE and Internet voting. The state we are in now is trouble. Its going to standards, law and citizen pressure.
Adina: Voting machines on the market today have some very serious with CS 101 problems (e.g. hard coded password, accessible to sys admins, lack of encryption, hard coded encryption key, some connected to the Internet, smart card systems for the voter and the admin with simple protocols that are easy to fake) -- these machines are certified in lots of states. They wouldn't be certified by your business.
Bill: Most of the vulnerabilities are about access/control, similar problems to paper (running out of ballots, closing polls), electronic creates some kind of audit trail. Comparative risk. Refusing voters is not from a techological base, its a political base.
Gary: With the exception of Diebold, computer specialists should be working with vendors to help. Problems are not new, we just need to improve what we have now.
This is a dense and difficult discussion with lots of material to absorb. This session helped me understand how significant the problem is, how there are some tradeoffs (not everything is technical) and how hopefully some people here will become more involved so someone doesn't steal our votes again.