Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Case for Auditing the Vote

Or, Jill Stein may have done us an actual service.

J. Alex Halderman:

Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. — J. Alex Halderman, Director, University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society,

Ron Rivest:

“I wouldn’t be surprised, in light of the DNC, that major voting systems have been compromised,” said Ron Rivest, a founding father of modern encryption systems and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who won the Turing Award, computing’s version of the Nobel Prize. “We do need to be concerned about the integrity of our voting systems in the face of possible attacks by foreign nation-states.—

Barbara Simons:

“If it’s a swing state, those votes could conceivably decide which party wins that state,” said Barbara Simons, past president of the Association for Computing Machinery and an adviser to the US Election Assistance Commission. —, previous cite.

These are not lightweight figures. Rivest in particular is a major figure in cryptography. We may be doing this for all the wrong reasons, but it’s a worthwhile thing to do; audits ought to be routine.

Still, going to be one more excuse for Republicans not to count votes. But then, they don’t need excuses.

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