[ExI] elections again: was RE: left on iran

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 27 03:18:07 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 3:44 PM, spike<spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> The voter goes to the polling place, types into a computer the husband's
> choice, gets a public code and a private code (100 digit numbers) for that
> combination.  She types in the neighbor's choice and gets a public and a
> private codes for that combination.  Then she types in her own choice, gets
> the codes, prints out that ballot which contains no human-readable, only
> machine-readable bar codes, and puts that one in the box.  When she gets
> home she gives the two one-hundred digit codes for the husband's choice to
> her husband, he multiplies the two numbers to get the 200 digit lookup code
> and sees Blather, Dingleberry and Fukov, rewards his bride by not beating
> her to death.  The voter gives her neighbor the two codes for his choice,
> gets her ten rials.  At her leisure, when her husband and neighbor are off
> slaying infidels, she multiplies her real codes from the ballot that
> actually went into the box, enters the 200 digit number and verifies that
> her real vote, Asshat, Carbunkle and Egregius, is in the database.

People generally get upset if you ask them to use a different password
for their email login, ATM PIN, and TV parental controls - do you
expect anyone to intelligently manage a 100 digit code sequence?  Once
she writes them down, your poor woman will be threatened by potential
discovery of the "other" codes.  (Because even on separate tickets,
they all go into the same purse or pocket or otherwise on the same
person)  Most likely though the person you describe will vote
according to whomever's desire she fears most.  I doubt any amount of
probability and statistics or cryptography can overcome that
psychology, especially in one generation of fearful human animals.

My first thought was to simply have as many extra passwords for
verification as you want extra answers.  So when husband is watching
over her shoulder, she enters the password "husband" or for neighbor
she enters "neighbor."  The process of voting enables the creation of
as many extra passwords as the poor voter has coercive parties.  This
method (like the 200 digit code) completely fails when both the
husband and neighbor concurrently demand verification.  For example,
the husband will beat the wife for her disobedience, but the neighbor
will reveal her infidelity to the husband (who will presumably then
beat her).  In this situation the woman's only hope is to never return
home from the voting place.  She would probably also tell her
daughters to avoid husbands altogether, but I digress...

How do we guarantee confidence in the verification machinery?  It's
not like the technology couldn't simply lie to the individual and
report their actual vote back to them while reporting a tampered vote
to the election officials.  If you can't trust the government to honor
your vote, how do you trust a third party vote verifier?

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