Difference between revisions of "Voting"

clean up (AWB), typos fixed: gaurd → guard, anonimity → anonymity, etc) → etc.)
m (clean up (AWB), typos fixed: gaurd → guard, anonimity → anonymity, etc) → etc.))
==Certifying the ballot box==
For the nonce we will assume that there are paper ballots because that is what most people are comfortable with. I assure you that you will not be comfortable with them when we see how easily they can be corrupted. But that comes later. So the immediate problems with the "everyone counts the votes" meachanism are: "How do we know that the ballot database is a true represntation of the paper ballots?" and "What is to prevent hackers and private interests from manipulating the data?". Sucinctly: There must be multiple scanners and multiple databases controlled by totally different administrators. And every official ballot (after it is cast and separated from the voter(anonimityanonymity)) must be serialized. That is correct. There must be (at this point) an authority (actually there are several) that stamps each cast ballot with a unique identity. Each scanner also has a serial number unique to the particular scanner. Any given ballot (identified by serial number) must be read by no less than 3 different scanners administered by 3 different scanner administrators. If paper ballots are used then I see a big yellow bus that runs between no less than 3 precints where people who would have counted the votes will ride the bus delivering the ballots from one polling place to another, around and around we go. If by mail the same scenario occurs: The receiving authority at each mail drop (just like the receiving authority in any precinct) assigns a serial number to any and all ballots that are to be placed in the ballot box/database. The serial number cannot be traced back to the individual voter just as the ballots cannot be traced back to an individual voter. The ballot is scanned and the balot information along with the scanner serial identity is broadcast to the various database systems. The ballots are then pysically taken to the next mail drop or pricinct by a big yellow bus full of the people that would ordinarily count the votes (if you would have trusted them to count the votes you can surely trust them to gaurdguard the ballots). The people insure that the ballots do not get lost and that extra ballots are not put into this "official" batch of ballots as the batch is hand delivered to the next pricinct/scanner. A second scanner serial number is affixed to the data as the document is scanned again and the data broadcast to the database(s). At least 3 scaners must be used and the database systems must insure that the document has been received at least 3 times from at least 3 different scanning authorities and then the ballot data is placed in the database(s).
==dissimilar databases==
There must be multiple types of scanners and multiple databases in any event such that no central authority/vendor can be corrupted. As a matter of fact, when you look at the ballot box over the internet you will be looking at one of many different ballot databases all of which contain all the ballots and all of which are identical with regard to the ballots themselves. The voting "authorities" (who have no more authority than you or I) insure that the contents of all the databases are identical. Most likely the database you are looking at will be the one nearest you. It doesn't matter because they all contain the same data. Each database system is administered by a completely different database administrator organization. The different organizations will use one of several different types of computer hardware (e.g.Apple, McKintosh, Amd, Intel, and others) these systems will run various operating systems (Linux, MS Dos, Windows Xp, Sun OS, Free BSD, etc.), and various types of database software (Oracle, Sybase, PostgresSQL, MySQL, mSQL, dbm, Informix, and of course ye ole "roll your own"). They will present the information using the various types of "web" servers (Apache, Sun Java Web Server, Abyss, Xserve, etc.) with applications coded in python, php, perl, apt, or whatever. It is virtually impossible to "break in" to the database and "mess with" the ballots or the deleivery system because there are many of them and they are all different. The attacking party would need to compromise many different computer systems all being administered by different organizations/people. The cost of one complete system to perform the database function is less than $500. It is not a major investment and anyone with a decent desktop computer system (and that is a lot of people) has sufficient computer hardware to do this data storage task.