Brave New Edit

I found a galleys copy of Avi Rubin’s Brave New Ballot at the Strand, in the “uncorrected proofs” section, where everything is $1.49. The pay at Random House must really suck, if editors there are selling their galleys for such chump change. Why do I assume this was an in-house copy? Because of the corrections! My copy has a number of hand-inked redactions, each apparently striking one of the more inflammatory passages. I haven’t confirmed the changes against the published version, so I don’t know whether our unknown editor’s suggestions were adopted. With that caveat, here are the stories of electronic voting research that were too scandalous to print! The deleted passages are in bold.

  • Page 22: After our report was confirmed, Diebold claimed to have fixed this problem, but an independently commissioned study found that it had not. Later still, the company claimed to have really fixed it. Perhaps it did, but since it won’t let us or any other outsiders—including the government—examine its system again, we’ll never know.
  • Page 58: [Brit Williams’s] lordly condescension annoyed me, as did his inexplicable bitterness, but I never shared some colleagues’ more sinister view of his intentions or his alleged connections with vendors.
  • Page 65: The lawyers from both Hopkins and the EFF argued that Diebold was unlikely to sue me personally. If any legal action was taken, they felt, it would be against the university. The general counsel from Hopkins made an analogy with medical research: if a team of Hopkins doctors had performed an unfunded study that found that a medication caused serious health risks, the school would stand behind the researchers if the manufacturer threatened them. In that spirit, the university’s legal staff responded with a strongly worded letter, stating that we had done nothing wrong and that the university stood behind all its researchers and would continue to do so.