Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flaw in SRJC voting system repaired

Yesterday, in another blog post, "Major flaw in SRJC online voting system?," I pointed out a bug in Santa Rosa Junior College's student election system that permitted people such as me who are not enrolled in any classes to vote.  After posting the blog post and video here, I emailed the president of the Associated Students and the director and assistant director of Student Affairs.  They replied promptly, and had the problem fixed before 9:00 a.m.  Apparently, 83 votes that were made by non-students were cancelled, and the flaw that allowed us to vote was fixed.  Student Affairs Director Robert Ethington said that "Computing Services guarantees that the integrity of the process is intact."  Voting will close on Friday night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Major flaw in SRJC online voting system?

UPDATE (Thursday, November 18, 2010):  The problem was resolved.  See my post here.

This week, Santa Rosa Junior College, my alma mater, is holding a student election to decide a student center fee referendum.  If passed, the referendum would require that most students be charged a $1 per unit student center fee up to a maximum of $10 per student per academic year.  The fee would be used for expenses related to student centers on the campuses, the new Bertolini Student Center, which opened earlier this year on the main campus, being the most notable such student center.

Elections have been online at SRJC from the time of the main student elections this past spring.  On Monday, the first day of this week's election, I logged into the myCubby student portal (named after the school's mascot, the Bear Cub) online and found that it appeared that the system would allow me to vote even though I am no longer a student at SRJC.  Last night, I installed a video screen capture program on my computer and attempted to go through with the process.  It appears that I was indeed permitted by the system to vote in the election.  As you will see in the video below, I was even shown a "Thank you for voting" dialog box.  It is to be hoped that my vote and any votes like it will not actually be counted.  The voting software should filter out the votes of people who are not registered in any classes; or, better yet, it should not even give the appearance that it is allowing these people to vote.

If adequate software safeguards such as those I have described above are not in place, it is possible that the validity of this week's election will be called into question. It is very possible, however, that the computers are indeed set so that only votes from enrolled students are counted. But there is no way to tell by looking at the website.

I was Vice President of Santa Rosa Campus on the Associated Students Senate from November 2009 until I graduated in May 2010.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Unintended consequences

About two weeks ago, when I was at a Safeway here in Berkeley, I saw large signs in the parking lot advertising Mott's apple sauce.  The signs did influence me to buy apple sauce.  But, because of the price or the type that was offered, I bought Tree Top brand.  Nice try, Mott's.  I'm sure Tree Top appreciates the free advertising.  Maybe next time, if you actually offer a better deal in addition to your parking lot ads, I'll actually by your brand.

Incidentally, I don't like apple sauce that says "sweetened."  It has a weird taste.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jeffrey's November 2010 General Election ballot

Hello everyone!  Here are my ballots for today's General Election.  I might write more about specific measures and candidates tonight when I have more time.  For now, I strongly encourage you to vote for Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate race.  Fiorina is both a fiscal and social conservative who will be a good replacement for Senator Boxer.  (And make sure you call her "Senator.")  Currently Fiorina is slightly down in the polls, but there is still a possibility that she will win.  Despite the fact that I voted for Steve Poizner in the primary in June, I voted for Meg Whitman in this race for California Governor.  Unfortunately, it does not currently appear that she will win.  But it will depend on turnout.
I voted for Debra Bowen, the incumbent Democratic, for secretary of state.  Her challenger, Damon Dunn, voted for the first time in 2009.  So I think he is unqualified for the job.  I based my state judicial recommendations on those of Eagle Forum.  All of those are likely to pass by large margins, though, since most people have no idea who they are confirming.  If you live in Santa Rosa, I strongly encourage you to vote against Measure P, the new sales tax measure.  And I have no recommendation for Santa Rosa's Measure O.

Click on the photos below to see them in more detail.  Make sure you vote today, and I'll probably write another post later tonight.  Have a great day!