Monthly Archives: December 2007

Article about single winner election methods from 2000

I have not seen many mainstream articles that discuss single winner election systems; a topic that is important to me.

This is one of the exceptions from November 2000.

When Votes Don’t Add Up By Lila Guterman:

When they approach the polls next week, supporters of Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan will face a quandary because of their candidates’ slim chances of winning the presidential election. Believing that a vote for either is wasted, the voters could support their second choice to try to influence the outcome of the tight race between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The frustration of voters who feel forced to choose between conviction and strategy after they enter the voting booth reveals a flaw in our voting system, say several mathematicians and political scientists, who are using the close 2000 presidential election to emphasize the benefits of alternative scoring methods.

There are some mentions of approval voting, instant runoff voting, the Borda count, and Condorcet methods. I’m a fan of approval voting.

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Ohio EVEREST Report

From their press release:

On December 14th, 2007, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner released the results of a comprehensive review of her state’s electronic voting technology. The study, called Project EVEREST, examined electronic voting systems – touch-screen and optical scan – from Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), Hart InterCivic, and Premier Election Systems (formerly Diebold). As part of that study, three teams of security researchers, based at Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA), the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), and WebWise Security, Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA), conducted the security reviews. The reviews began in September, 2007 and concluded on December 7, 2007 with the delivery of the final report. The teams had access to voting machines and software source code from the three vendors, and performed source code analysis and security penetration testing with the aim of identifying security problems that might affect the integrity of elections that use the equipment.

The public report can be downloaded from:
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/

The report is similar to those that Debra Bowen had commissioned in California. In short, the electronic voting machines all had extremely serious flaws.

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Accepting guest posts

I’ve been lax about posting recently even though there is plenty to post about.

To liven things up a little bit, I’ve decided to start accepting guest posts.

If you have something about election reform that you would like to see posted here please send me an email with your post.  My email address is: AllAboutVoting AT gmail DOT com

A follow-up on identity theft prevention

Back when I discussed anonymity I raised some concerns about identity theft. Here is a follow up on my research on identity theft. Hopefully it will be of use to someone.

Domain Anonymizers

There are a number of domain anonymizer services such as as Domains by Proxy that allow you to legitimately register a domain anonymously. Note that there are some accounts of these services turning over your actual contact information with very little provocation.

Credit Report

I focussed my attention on fraud issues that reflect within your credit report.

I found that there are several approaches to protecting a credit report. You can get a good overview with a side of advocacy at The Consumers Union.

There are a few basic techniques.
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The Rose Report on algorithmic redistricting

The Rose Report discusses algorithmic approaches to redistricting such as the shortest-splitline algorithm.

The Rose report points out that these algorithms could be unconstitutional and seems to consider algorithmic redistricting approaches to be politically naive.

A recent letter-to-the-editor in The Appeal-Democrat suggested we just draw district lines according to latitude across the state to create the areas our legislators represent. Many people say such things, not unreasonably, because they are ignorant of the fact that such districts would inevitably be unconstitutional.

The idea behind such proposals is simple: people want to take the “politics” out of redistricting politics in a complete and total manner. Of course, in practice, trying to take the politics out of politics is as nonsensical and impossible as the verbal formulation. Further, such reforms might cause more problems than they would ever solve. Such exercises can be valuable as thought experiments, but realistic reforms strive for something much more moderate and, for lack of a better word, political.

I disagree with the assertions made by the Rose report that algorithmic approaches to redistricting are forever unrealistic reforms.

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