I downloaded and watched the over long “movie” called Hacking Democracy and came away a stunned. Mostly because of how stupid everyone was about talking and dealing with technology.

One of the things that struck me odd right off was the idea of negative votes. How a voting system even allowed negative voting at all. It shouldn’t have displayed it. shouldn’t have allowed it. And when it showed up as a “minus” the entire vote should have been recalled. Period. The people in charge just shrugged this off moving on to the next not-problem.

The thing is didn’t the QA staff test this in the first place? They are making a system for essential STUPID people. With that in mind they should have been testing for these edge cases.

Later in the film they test 8 ballots: 2 for and 6 against. When it comes out it’s 7 to 1 not 6 and 2. Thing was…. why didn’t they do more variations? Like 4 and 4. Or 8 and oh. Oh and 8. Or was it enough that “the hack” was sufficient to account for all the variations. How about 100 just to prove the point.

Funny how they didn’t ask professional testers about testing these things. It seemed wrong that when then confronted the “certifying” company they didn’t demand to see the test plan if that wasn’t allowed ask the in general questions about how they approached test and certification.

Certification of these “voting machines” which are nothing more then desktop computers running an embedded OS should not be done by an independant third party. It should be done by the people. Who would have full access to the source code, build methods and and hardware.

It is up to us to add protections to insure that these kinds of things aren’t in the hands of the gov’mint or anyone directly involved with the election process. Sadly we won’t ever be allowed access on the level that would make it “open voting.” Mostly because too many people believe that this fucking magic. And why wouldn’t they. They believe, over half of them according to a scary survey, in invisible men.

John Hodgen (that’s PC to some of you) explains it all much better here.