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TSS特别报道:过去能告诉我们什么有关未来投票的信息?

TSS EXCLUSIVE – Casting Ballots: What can the past tell us about the future of voting?

by Karma Lei Angelo

投票者
The Voter

伊芙琳和其他市民一起站在投票队伍中,等待选举慢慢向前推进。这是她第一次有资格投票——也是美国第一次把投票日作为联邦假日,让所有居民都有一天的假期前往投票站。在她前面的两个年长的男人正在讨论候选人。当谈话转到选票时,她忍不住偷听。

Evelyn stood in the voting line with the other citizens, waiting for it to slowly move forward. This was her first eligible election–and the nation’s first as a federal holiday, giving all residents the day off to head to the polls. Two older men ahead of her were discussing the candidates. She couldn’t help but eavesdrop when the conversation turned to ballots.

“我听说他们把打孔卡带回来了,”其中一个说。“他们怎么会真的认为这是个好主意呢,弄出这么一堆吊牌?”

“And I heard they brought back the punch cards,” one said. “How do they really think that’s a good idea, with the hanging chads and all?”

另一个人耸耸肩。“好吧,难道这不比像上次选举那样让那些服务器遭到黑客攻击要好吗?”

The other man shrugged. “Well, isn’t it better than having those servers hacked again like the last election?”

“嗯,没错。现在连上电脑的东西都不敢相信。”队伍慢慢向前走。“但是,还是。打孔卡也没有更好。有多少选票因为机器工作不正常而被抛出?“

“Meh, true. Can’t trust anything hooked up to computers these days.” The line inched forward. “But, still. Punch cards are no better. How many of the ballots get thrown out because they don’t work right?”

“又有多少缺席投票被发现在垃圾箱或由死人邮寄?另一位辩称:“新系统已经消除了这些问题,这是件好事。”。“归根结底,到底有多少张选票真正算数?有多少选民失去了发言权?”

“And how many absentee ballots have been found in the trash or mailed to a dead person? Good thing the new system has done away with those,” the other argued. “At the end of the day, how many ballots really count? How many voters lose their voice?”

但有多少选民失去了发言权?政府如何确保每一张选票都有价值?我的会怎么样?她的焦虑加剧了。她的心跳到胸口。为什么我这么紧张?他们解决了问题。新系统应该是万无一失的。甚至没有人知道今年会发生什么。

But how many voters lose their voice? How can the government make sure every vote counts? What will happen to mine? Her anxiety increased. Her stomach jumped into her chest. Why am I so nervous? They fixed the problems. The new system is supposed to be foolproof. No one even knows what to expect this year.

这位官员核对了她的身份,确认了她的登记。“每个办公室和职位都列在机器上。为每个候选人提供彩色芯片。用合适的筹码投你的票。如果由于单色或其他眼部疾病而看不到颜色,每个候选人的名字也会被放在芯片上。一旦你投完票,蜂鸣器就会响起,表明芯片已经被记录。你有什么问题吗?”伊芙琳摇了摇头。“请您进入投票位。”

The official checked her identification and confirmed her registration. “Each office and position is listed on the machine. Colored chips are provided for each individual candidate. Use the appropriate chip to cast your vote. If you cannot see the colors due to monochromia or other eye disorders, the names of each candidate have also been placed on the chips. Once you are done casting your vote, a buzzer will sound indicating the chip has been logged. Do you have any questions?” Evelyn shook her head. “You are required to enter the booth now.”

她走了进来,关上身后的窗帘,盯着面前的桌子。扑克牌一样的筹码堆放在桌子对面。每一个都是纯色,里面都刻有名字。每个人都觉得它一样重。她看了看面前的插槽,把一个芯片滑了进去。它落在桌子下面某个地方,锁在一个安全的投票箱里,叮当作响。

She stepped in and shut the curtain behind her, staring at the table in front of her. Poker-like chips stood stacked across the table. Each a solid color, each with names etched inside. Each felt like it weighed the same. She looked at the slots in front of her and slid one of the chips in. It clinked and rattled as it landed somewhere below the table, locked away in a secured ballot box.  

近几十年来,她的国家在技术上取得了巨大进步,并采取了各种安全措施来确保新投票系统的完整性,她想知道这样一种过时的方法是否可行。她仍然不知道她的声音是否会被听到。

With all the technological advancements her country had seen in recent decades–and all the security precautions provided to ensure integrity of the new voting system–she wondered if such an antiquated method would work. And she still wondered if her voice would be heard. 

投票的历史
The History of the Ballot

为什么这样一个老于世故的先进社会,会想在千年之后回到之前投石头一样的计票方法?要了解这种方法,重要的是要了解投票的简要历史以及过程是如何随着时间的推移而改变的。

Why might a sophisticated and advanced society, such as this one, want to go back to a ballot-counting method, equitable to casting stones, millenia behind them? To understand this casting method, it’s important to understand a brief history of voting and how the process has changed over time.

几千年前,人类用当时随身携带的物品投票:棍棒、贝壳、陶器碎片、骨头,甚至石头。几个世纪以来,石头(ballota)一直是一种可靠的方法,因此ballot一词也随之演变。早在17世纪,美国就开始使用纸质选票;然而,直到19世纪初,这个年轻的国家才开始使用“口头投票”。机械杠杆机器在19世纪90年代开始逐渐进入人们的视野,并成为几十年来的主要方法。打孔卡、电脑、扫描器和直接电子记录仪(DRE)机从此流行起来。

Thousands of years ago, humans voted using the items they had around them at the time: sticks, shells, pieces of pottery, bone, and even stones. Stones, or ballotta, were a reliable method for centuries–hence the evolution of the word ballot. Paper ballots began to be used in the United States as early as the 17th Century; however, the young nation used viva voce, or “voice vote”, up until the early 19th Century.  Mechanical lever machines began creeping into the picture in the 1890s and were a staple method for several decades. Punch-cards, computers, scanners, and direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines have since become popular.

打孔卡最初于1889年获得专利,并被用来为美国人口普查汇编数据。它在20世纪60年代被介绍给选民后,成为一种流行的投票方法,几十年来一直流行。投票者会用手写笔在一张纸卡上打孔,然后将纸卡送到一个集中设施的机械点卡机上。然而,在美国2000年大选期间,当总统选举落在佛罗里达州时,这一系统的可靠性受到了显著的质疑。

Punch-cards were originally patented in 1889 and were used to compile data for the United States Census. It became a popular voting method for several decades after being introduced to voters in the 1960s. The punch-card device was a clipboard-sized handheld instrument. A voter would use a stylus to punch holes through a paper card that was then sent to a mechanical card counting machine at a centralized facility. However, the reliability of this system was markably questioned during the United States’ 2000 election when the presidential election came down to one state: Florida. 

共和党候选人乔治·布什和民主党候选人副总统戈尔在该州几百张选票的争夺战中陷入僵局。一些新闻台称戈尔是摇摆州的胜利者,从而助长了戈尔现在是总统选举的预期胜利者的想法。但那天晚上晚些时候,有报道说这是假的,布什赢了。双方都请来了律师,围绕投票程序展开了为期5周的战争。“有部分打孔卡脱落”和“是打孔卡凹陷而不是打孔卡被移除”的争议——连同法院的判决与每一个政党的争执——来到了美国最高法院,布什最终得到了对他有利的判决。布什以537票的优势赢得了该州最后的选举人票和总统职位。

The candidates, Republican nominee George W. Bush and Democratic nominee Vice President Al Gore, were locked in a battle over a few hundred ballots in the state. Some news stations were calling Gore the winner in the swing state, thus fueling the idea Gore was now the projected winner for the presidency. But later that evening, reports came in that this was false and Bush had won. Lawyers were called in for both sides and a 5-week war over the voting process began. The “hanging chads” (only a portion of the perforated punch card had detached) and “dimpled chads” (the punch card area was dented instead of being removed) controversy–along with decisions from the courts going back and forth with each party–balloted its way to the US Supreme Court where Bush was finally given the ruling in his favor. Bush took the state by a 537 vote margin, winning the final electoral votes and the presidency. 

在2000年的争议之后,穿孔卡片制度逐渐淡出人们的喜爱,并导致了2002年的《帮助美国投票法案》(helpamerica Vote Act)。该法案对选民程序进行了全面改革,并改进了投票制度。慢慢地,杠杆机器和穿孔卡片被DREs和光学扫描仪所取代。参见图2:投票技术在美国的长期使用情况,来自麻省理工学院选举数据+科学实验室,如下所示:

After the 2000 controversy, the punch-card system faded from favorability and led to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. The act provided sweeping reforms to the voter process and improvements to the voting systems out there. Slowly, lever machines and punch-cards were replaced with DREs and optical scanners. See Figure 2: Voting technology usage over time in the U.S., from MIT’s Election Data + Science Lab below: 

DRE投票系统在2004年开始流行起来。它们是易于使用的触摸屏终端,可以记录选票。选票被存储在存储设备或光盘上,并被传送到一个集中的位置的计算机上进行制表——这与纸质选票的方式非常相似。2004年,28.9%的登记选民使用了某种形式的民主选举制度,高于1996年的7.7%。

DRE voting systems started to become popular in 2004. They were easy-to-use touch-screen terminals which recorded votes. Votes were stored on memory devices or compact discs and transported to computers at a centralized location to be tabulated–much in the same way that paper-based ballots were done. In 2004, 28.9% of registered voters used some type of DRE system, up from 7.7% in 1996. 

光学扫描选票变得非常流行。近三分之二的登记选民现在使用光学扫描仪作为他们的标准投票系统。选民可以在纸选票上填写气泡、填写箭头或做出机器可读的标记。选票放在一个安全的盒子里,并在存放时进行扫描。通过在选区扫描仪上运行一个程序或程序,然后提供总数来计算选票。

And optical-scan ballots became extremely popular. Nearly two-thirds of all registered voters now use optical-scanning methods as their standard voting system. Voters can fill in bubbles, complete arrows, or make machine-readable marks on paper ballots. The ballots are placed in a secured box and scanned as it is deposited. Votes are counted by running a procedure or program on the precinct scanner and then providing the totals.

然而,新的投票方法也产生了新的投票问题。

However, new voting solutions also created newer voting problems. 

现代之声
The Modern Voice

事实证明,提供可靠的投票系统和确保稳定、安全的结果比想象的要困难。这犹如一场现代芭蕾,“最好的方法”总是与黑客、欺诈者及系统的缺陷共同起舞。

Providing reliable voting systems and ensuring stable, secure results has proven to be harder than imagined. It’s a modern ballet of tiptoeing around the best method as hackers and fraudulent-minded individuals dance around flaws in the system. 

研究人员开始质疑无纸化投票系统的可靠性。其中,大卫·L·迪尔博士呼吁“对所有投票设备进行选民可验证的审计跟踪”。他创立了可验证投票基金会处理投票技术政策问题。根据他们的网站,“投票系统和选举基础设施在多个方面都很脆弱,我们必须采取措施加强各种选举技术——不仅仅是投票机——以防篡改和失败。”

Researchers began to question the reliability on paperless voting systems. Among them, David L. Dill, Ph.D., who called for “a voter-verifiable audit trail on all voting equipment”. He founded the Verified Voting Foundation (www.VerifiedVoting.org) to work on voting technology policy issues. According to their website, “voting systems and election infrastructure are vulnerable at multiple points and we must take steps to harden election technology of all kinds–not just voting machines–against tampering and failures.” 

数字和电子投票系统的一些问题包括:缺乏有形性、缺乏透明度、缺乏标准化和测试、缺乏质量控制以及选民欺诈猖獗。

Among some of the issues with digital and electronic voting systems: lack of tangibility, no transparency, little standardization and testing, lack of quality control, and rampant voter fraud. 

缺乏投票的实物证据令人担忧。Dill和可验证投票基金会推动了DREs的投票者可验证纸质审计跟踪(vvpat)。这些纸片看起来像收银机收据,记录了计算机化投票终端是否正常工作,计票。截至2016年选举,只有三分之一的DRE使用VVPAT或拥有一项及以上审计能力。

The lack of physical evidence of a vote was concerning. Dill and Verified Voting Foundation pushed for Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) for DREs. These pieces of paper looked like cash register receipts and documented if the computerized voting terminal worked properly, counting the vote. As of the 2016 elections, only one-third of DREs used VVPATs or had any auditing capabilities. 

缺乏透明度是一个问题,就在今年。计算机科学家无法获得当前的电子投票源代码,也无法确定程序是否正常运行。在2020年的前几个月,一个出现故障的智能手机应用程序使爱荷华州党团瘫痪。虽然它的设计目的是提高选举和计票的透明度,但全州数十名民主党选区领导人和官员无法下载或登录该应用程序来统计选举结果。这场混乱使人们对选举技术的担忧成为焦点。

Lack of transparency is a problem, as recent as this year. Computer scientists do not have access to current electronic voting source codes and cannot determine if a program is functioning without errors. In the early months of 2020, a malfunctioning smartphone app crippled the Iowa caucus. While it was designed for more transparency into elections and tallies, dozens of Democratic precinct leaders and officials across the state could not download or log into the app to tabulate the results. The chaos brought concerns of election technology to the forefront. 

目前的系统缺乏标准、测试和认证。联邦和州标准通常只有几年的历史,还没有赶上这项技术。各州对投票机认证的要求差别很大。认证测试通常由供应商或独立实验室进行。这可能会非常昂贵和耗时,此外还会产生误导。虽然可以验证系统的硬件,但软件仍然可能遭到黑客攻击,或者软件升级可能由供应商决定,而不包括必要的安全防范措施。在爱荷华州党团会议的混乱之后,一家名为Shadow的科技公司在应用程序测试中垫底。该软件大部分未经测试,民主党官员对该应用程序的审查和批准保持沉默。

There is a lack of standards, testing, and certification of current systems. Federal and/or state standards, which are typically several years old, have not caught up with the technology. Voting machine certification requirements vary quite a bit from state to state. The certification tests are typically done by vendors or an independent lab. This can be very costly and time consuming, in addition to misleading. While the hardware of a system can be verified, the software can still be hacked or software upgrades can be left up to the vendor, not covering necessary security precautions. In the aftermath of the Iowa caucus chaos, a technology company called Shadow was at the bottom of the app failure. The software went mostly untested and the Democratic officials have kept mute about how the app had been vetted and approved. 

一些投票机中的软件缺陷已经被发现可以改变或删除投票。例如,德克萨斯州选民在2018年注意到,一些民主党人将选票从一个候选人转到另一个不同政党的候选人。计算机科学说,这是投票机的一个软件错误,但选举官员指责选民,而不是机器,因为他们无意中在系统仍在加载选票时触摸了屏幕错误的地方。

And software bugs in some voting machines have been known to alter or delete votes. For example, Texas voters in 2018 noticed that some DREs switched their vote from one candidate to another of a different political party. Computer sciences said it was a software error on the part of the voting machine, but election officials blamed voters, not the machines, for inadvertently touching the screens in the wrong place or while the system was still bringing the ballot on screen. 

或许更令人沮丧和担忧的是选民舞弊问题,特别是对2020年选举的诉求。投票技术仍然受到网络攻击、操纵和故障的影响。在2019年8月举行的DEFCON黑客大会上,与会者获得了100多台投票机的使用权。他们能够识别每一台被测试的投票机的安全问题和漏洞。与会者能够改变选举总数,改变选票,或者控制控制机器的软件。此外,其他研究和报告也得出了同样的结论:投票技术存在“可利用的重大漏洞”。

Perhaps even more disheartening and concerns is the problem of voter fraud, especially claims for the 2020 election. Voting technology is still subject to cyber attacks, being manipulated, and malfunctioning. At a DEFCON hacker conference in August 2019, attendees were given access to more than 100 voting machines. They were able to identify security issues and vulnerabilities in every single voting machine tested. Attendees were able to alter election totals, change the ballots, or control the software that controlled the machines. In addition, other studies and reports have concluded the same thing: voting technologies have “significant vulnerabilities that could be exploited”. 

沉默的缺席者
The Silent Absentee

缺席或邮寄选票呢?这些形式首先在内战期间变得广泛,正如亚伯拉罕·林肯总统所说:“没有选举,我们就不能有自由政府,如果叛乱能够迫使我们放弃或推迟全国选举,它可能会公平地宣称已经征服和毁灭了我们。”,这些缺席投票是为了帮助海外士兵的声音被听到。现在,尤其是由于流感大流行,立法者们正在重新考虑远程投票程序。在2020年选举年,34个州允许登记选民以COVID-19作为缺席投票的理由。

And what about absentee, or mail-in, ballots? These first became widespread during the Civil War as President Abraham Lincoln stated, “We cannot have free government without elections, and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.” Traditionally, these absentee votes were to help soldiers abroad have their voices heard. Now, and especially because of the pandemic, lawmakers are rethinking the remote voting process. In the 2020 election year, 34 states are allowing registered voters to cite COVID-19 as their reason to vote absentee. 

然而,根据麻省理工学院选举数据与科学实验室(MIT Election Data&Science Lab)的数据,邮件投票(vote by mail,VBM)选民欺诈虽然极为罕见,但似乎比亲自投票更为频繁。一些州的选民邮寄了不正确的缺席选票。其他州,如密歇根州,没有必要的人员或机器来处理大量的选票。VBM选票也在威斯康星州的一条沟渠中被发现,在宾夕法尼亚州也被丢弃。

However, according to the MIT Election Data & Science Lab, vote by mail (VBM) voter fraud, while extremely rare, appears to be more frequent than in-person voting. Voters in some states have mailed incorrect absentee ballots. Other states, such as Michigan, do not have the staff or machines necessary to process the sheer amount of ballots that come in. VBM ballots have also been found in a ditch in Wisconsin as well as discarded in Pennsylvania. 

完全取消VBM投票,是否可以最大限度地减少选民舞弊?也许不是。VBM不仅为公民提供了更多的便利,而且有可能为选民提供更多的保障。以COVID-19大流行为例。与上一届总统选举相比,2020年有37个州的缺席选票增加了一倍多。VBM已经允许数百万选民发表意见。

Would voter fraud be minimized by doing away with VBM ballots altogether? Perhaps not. VBM is not only more convenient for citizens, but it potentially provides more safeguards for voters. Consider the COVID-19 pandemic, for example. More than double the absentee ballots have been cast in 37 states in 2020 compared to the previous presidential election. VBM has already allowed millions of voters to be heard. 

即使VBM继续流行,那么整个投票呢?有没有一种技术可以保证每一张选票都是准确的,每一位选民的声音都能被听到?

Even if VBM continues to gain in popularity, what about voting, in general? Will there ever be a technology at the polls that could guarantee complete accuracy that each vote counts and each voter’s voice is heard? 

美国科学促进会(AAAS)在投票技术和安全方面帮助地方、州和联邦官员,他们得出的结论是,无论是手工投票还是机器投票,纸质投票都是最有效的投票方法,因为“证据告诉我们,目前还没有任何技术能够保证互联网投票的安全性和保密性。”谁知道那些比纸质投票更古老的方法——比如使用贝壳、石头或扑克筹码——是一种更安全的计算合法选票的方法呢?也许未来的投票会更多地依赖于非未来技术。

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has helped local, state, and federal officials with voting technology and security, and they have concluded that paper ballots–by either hand or machine–are the most effective method for casting votes because “the evidence tells us that no technology yet guarantees the security and secrecy of Internet voting.” Who’s to say that a more archaic method than paper–such as using shells, stones, or poker chips–is an even more secure way of counting a legitimate vote? Perhaps the future of voting relies more on non-futuristic technologies. 

也许最好的投票方式是在人性背后,而不是在人性面前。

Perhaps the best voting method is behind humanity, instead of in front of it. 

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