Outline for November 10, 2005

  1. Firewalls
    1. Example network setup with firewalls: home
    2. Example network setup with firewalls: organization
  2. Electronic voting
    1. Goals of voting
    2. Overview of process
    3. Where electronic voting systems come in: how they work
    4. Optical scanning systems, ballot marking devices, direct recording electronic devices, vote tabulation servers
    5. The U. S. and California certification process
    6. Tests and problems
    7. Safeguards: 1% mandatory manual recount, voter-verified audit trails
    8. Current state of e-voting systems in California
  3. Recording property electronically
    1. Goals of recording property
    2. Overview of process
    3. Architecture of a solution
    4. Tests and problems
    5. Current state of e-recordation in California

Puzzle of the Day

A story in the Los Angeles Times on Election Day (Nov. 8, 2005) described a problem that a voter encountered.

Schwarzenegger Hits Snag at Polling Place1

By Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up to his Brentwood neighborhood polling station today to cast his ballot in the special election -- and was told he had already voted.

Elections officials said a Los Angeles County poll worker had entered Schwarzenegger's name into an electronic voting touch screen station in Pasadena on Oct. 25. The worker, who was not identified, was testing the voting machine in preparation for early voting that began the next day.

Somehow, Schwarzenegger's name was then placed on a list of people who had already voted, said Conny B. McCormack, the Los Angeles County registrar.

Schwarzenegger's aides were informed of the problem when they arrived this morning to survey the governor's polling station. The poll worker told the governor's staff he would have to use a "provisional" ballot that allows elections workers to verify if two votes were made by the same person. McCormack said the poll worker did the correct thing.

The governor, however, was allowed to use a regular ballot.

McCormack said she apologized to the governor's staff and would investigate what happened. She said nobody actually voted for Schwarzenegger in Pasadena, and the governor's votes today will be counted.

"This is someone who breached our protocol and was playing around in advance of the election," she said.

Tom Hiltachk, the governor's attorney, said: "I have no reason to believe anything nefarious occurred.

But Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, said the problem highlights the need for better verification of electronic voting.

"If the governor is going to have a mix-up on his ballot," she said, "it will make other voters wonder what is going to happen with their ballots."

1. Available at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-arnoldvotes9nov09,0,6784922.story?coll=la-home-headlines on November 9, 2005.

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