Wednesday, June 21, 2006
As a candidate for Secretary of State, one of the jobs I could possibly hold is that of the state's top elections official. So, with a prominent vendor of voting machines, MicroVote, located right in Indianapolis, in the Broad Ripple area, it was natural to visit their offices this morning.
Steve Shamo met with me and demonstrated the Infinity voting machine, and I grilled him on the fail-safes. One of the main things that interested me was the possibility of VVPAT- voter verifiable paper trails.
I learned that Microvote could do this, but has real concerns about it. (Diebold and ES&S currently have it.) Their big concern is Constitutional. The ballot is supposed to be secret. But, in the course of creating a paper trail, it records the votes in sequence. Especially in places where the precincts are small and only one machine is used, whomever views the paper receipts could trace back to learn who voted how. That's a problem that they haven't figured out how to overcome yet.
I appreciated Steve taking the time to give me the guided tour and to answer my questions. I feel greatly educated on the machines used in the majority of Indiana counties.
Steve offered to forward a link to an 11-minute video discussing pros and cons on the VVPAT. Look for that on an update entry soon.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Today I attended the Geist United Opposition's golf fundraiser at Ironwood Golf Course. I didn't play, as the organizers asked me to be the judge for the hole-in-one contest hole, which was sponsored by Ed Martin, with the prize being a snazzy new red Nissan.
The joke was that I should have been standing by the pin. As the referee, I had to verify any hole-in-one, so I stood to the right of the green, near a stand of trees. I had four shots land within 15 feet of me. Something about the contest hole makes good golfers' shots sail wide.
This was a nice event, with 30 golfers and about 8 volunteers. I distributed my logo golf balls to all, and they were very well received. Unique, as campaign items go. GUO raised more money for their legal opposition to the forced annexation attempts by the Town of Fishers.
The golf balls are a little washed out in this photo, but they are truly first class. Libertarian Tim Oatess of the Image Edge produced them for the campaign. They will be available to supporters via the website very soon!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Saturday was very pleasantly spent in Millville, in Henry County, for the Wilbur Wright Birthplace Celebration.
I was asked to hand out awards to kids who partipated in a "tractor pull". They rode a kiddie John Deere that was loaded down with a weight, and had to try to pull it 30 feet or so.
I really liked the museum site. Many community members pitched in to save the museum from relocation or even scrapping when under state control. The locals asked for and gained complete ownership of the site from the state. Libertarian Rex Bell of Hagerstown is among these people who contributed their efforts to create a really fine museum. Rex and his sons constructed two buildings. Others collected excellent Wright family artifacts, and designed other aspects of the site. It's an excellent example of how private control by dedicated citizens is better than public control by a distant bureaucracy.