phil reed writes "Given the latest fiasco in Florida's continuing attempts to implement a decent voting system, I thought it would be appropriate to alert Slashdot readers to the work of Dr. Rebecca Mercuri. She's been studying voting systems for many years, and has developed well-considered positions on what makes a good electronic voting system (and what makes a bad one). Her comments on the Florida 2002 election can be found in the current Risks Digest. And, if you think that creating a computer-based voting system is easy, she provides a suggested list of questions that should be answered by any developer." Mercuri's statement in Risks is well worth reading. With all due respect, she is wrong in some respects: it is possible to create a fully-verified electronic system. Start with completely open code and thoroughly examined hardware, create an audited system for installing the code on the hardware, and make it tamper-evident so that you know the same code is still there when the machine reaches the voting booths. Bootable, hologrammed, serial-numbered CD-ROMs with individual private keys would do the trick. Mercuri is thinking in terms of vendors selling proprietary "solutions", where she's absolutely right: there's no way to verify that what people punch in is what is actually recorded.
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