Friday, January 18, 2008

Sunday Documentary Series at Newport's Firehouse

January Documentary Series at the Firehouse Theater which is at 4 Equality Park Place. No problem parking in the area now! There are four films with one offered each Sun. night at 7 PM. Now you KNOW you're not doing anything then. A donation of $5 is asked. Discussion afterwards.

1. Hacking Democracy by Harris & Michaels. Exposes the vulnerability of computer voting. You missed it! R.I. uses ES&S optiscan system (Eagle III-PE) and has regular problems with it every election.
This is the purvey of the Board of Elections (appointed), not the Secretary of State- I do believe this is unique. Think that it's reliability is beyond question- think again. A decision by Judge Fortunato states that the Board has ceded too much authority to ES&S optiscanners in deciding whether or not a vote is valid. The Board still has not responded regarding questions that I asked almost 3 wks. ago- their testing report, requirements for recounts, etc. They did give me the model info, though, but not as much as in today's Projo article.

Every election has seen problems with this system. Remember the last General Election when the system did not update with Little Compton votes (& others) until the next day? They weren't even posted for 3 days.

Here are the questions that I posed:
1. Who is the maker of our optiscan system? Answer rec'd.

2. Who does the pre-election certification of the software? Does the State have the choice to choose it's own certifier? Has it been reviewed for security? Can I have a copy of this document? No answer & now I know why. There is no certification process. Um, like, this is kinda important.

3. Can the State use its own certification process for the memory cards involved? Also important to guarantee the status of these cards; e.g., no votes on it & no executable programs lingering. No answer

4. What is the process for having a certified recount? Can all votes be reviewed for the asking or does a preliminary review have to be done first? No answer. For all that yakking about a "paper trail," in fact it's never been pursued. Everything just sits in locked up in warehouses & you are not welcome to review. Getting a recount is virutally impossible.

This from the Board of Elections Kando: “Our equipment is among the oldest in the nation,” he said. “I think it’s one of the most-tested systems.” Say what? Tested by whom? If it's old, don't you think it may need testing for its continued reliability? How do you know hackers haven't got this "old stuff" figured out? How about the memory cards? Do we use them? Who examines them before use?

Thanks to Rhode Island's Future for alerting me to Projo's article by Bruce Landis. This is a storm brewing. If you can't verify our elections system (and it appears you can't), then like, er, um, democracy & voting ain't worth much. Kinda gets you in the gut.

2. Escape from Suburbia by Greene. Connects the dots between unsustainable suburban lifestyle & modern-day issues: food production, econ. meltdown, & population die-off. Click here for a new state website- PostCarbon Rhode Island. I'm also pointing you here to one set of minutes and here from the "Newport Goes Green Task Force." They have a report coming out soon, I believe. Too late to see this one also.

**3. Sicko by Michael Moore. U.S. healthcare w/HMO's compared to universal free care in Can., UK, & France. This Sunday! See it if you haven't yet had the chance. Very entertaining & informative.

4. No End in Sight by Ferguson. Chronicles reasons behind Iraq's guerilla war.

I've given you links for all the films for more info & time length. The theater tends to be chilly so dress appropriately. Blankets are offered. Thanks to Gracious Audette (RI Progressive League)for the info.
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