Jimmy Olsen's Comments

That's what Manhattan would look like if the ice caps melted, and for some odd reason the people who live there decide not to build dikes to hold out the water, the way the Dutch have done for centuries.
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"if we can transact billions of dollars in online shopping, surely we can tackle eVoting"

Unfortunately eVoting is a much tougher technical challenge. When two people transact business over the online, they each have an incentive to keep an eye on the other. If the item or the money doesn't arrive as agreed one of them will complain. The problem with voting is that NO ONE is supposed to have a record that could trace a particular vote back to a particular voter. The concept of an "audit trail" is out the window from the start, you CANNOT build a system that makes it possible to check afterward that John Smith's vote was indeed for the Blue Party, just as he says it was supposed to be, or his privacy rights are violated.

We can't even use the Iraqi system of having people dip their fingers in indelible purple ink when they vote to make sure they don't vote again later, which I guess is because we're concerned that people might somehow be intimidated from voting if they had to let everyone know they'd done so for days afterward. One of the hangovers of the bad old days when people used various ways of suppressing African Americans from voting, I guess.
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The reason e-voting is inherently insecure is that it takes a highly trained technician to determine whether a machine is functioning the way it's supposed to or not. This problem affects all high-tech voting systems.

The problems that we had with the butterfly ballot, by contrast, were due to large numbers of new voters, a few of whom spoiled their ballots. But switching to a completely new system means that now EVERYONE is a "new voter". We should have stayed with the butterfly ballot, which was a system that the entire country understood intimately by the middle of December 2000. Instead, we're entering unexplored and much more dangerous territory.
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Profile for Jimmy Olsen

  • Member Since 2012/08/10



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