The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

President Noah Body

I have a multitude of feelings, and I'm not sure just where to start, so here's a list in no particular order:

Yup. I voted today. No line either, which given that I'm voting in Florida (and not only that, but one of the three trouble counties of Indecision 2000 to boot!) was rather strange. Got to use an electronic voting machine as there wasn't much of an option; I can only hope my vote is counted as I intended.

There is a section on electronic voting in Applied Cryptography (§6.5 in the first edition, which is what I have), where it lists five minimal characteristics of voting:

  1. Only authorized voters can vote.
  2. No one can vote more than once.
  3. No one can determine for whom anyone voted.
  4. No one can change anyone else's vote without being discovered.
  5. All voters can make sure that their vote has been taken into account in the final tabulation.

[I'm not sure if I agree with #5 (the selling of votes is a major concern for me). If it means I can see that my vote for Cthulhu was counted correctly, then I can collect my hundred zorkmids from Hastur, to whom I sold my vote. But if it means that all valid votes were counted for (out of X votes, Y were cast, and the results all add up to Y) then okay, I can see #5 being valid.]

With the algorithms being quite complicated in how they work, but it's much better than the joke systems Diebold has developed for use.

As I stood there in front of the machine (I'm not sure if it was a Diebold machine or not, but still, no paper trail) looking at the first page where we get to pick our poison of a President for the next four years, I wished we had a viable “None of the Above” choice such that if “Noah Body” won, the candidates in question are ineligable to run again for that particular race, and a whole new slate of candidates get selected to run in an emergency, quick, two week (or some other short time period) race. Then rationality gets a hold of me, and the spectre of Unintended Consequences and I think better of it.

Still, I'd like to send a message to these bozos from time to time.

Myself, I'm going to resist the tempation to even peek at the results until the 4th, when the Electoral Collage will rise from its hole, and if it sees its shadow, then six more weeks of vote counting and law suites.

I'm going for my shower now …

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