Left off the ballot?

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Tue Apr 13 2004 - 14:46:17 CDT

One positive aspect of the opt-scan paper ballot is that all of the choices
you didn't make appear along with the ones you did make.

Consider the following scenario:

Voter X returns from the polling place slightly confused. She thought that
Jane Smith was the supervisorial candidate for her district. Voter X voted
for someone else because didn't see Jane Smith on the ballot. Voter X
assumed that she was mistaken about the district. But after arriving at
home, she looked up her district and found that Jane Smith was supposed to
be on the ballot.

The next day, it turned out that Jane Smith lost by one vote. Voter X is
outraged and demands the election result be voided.

How can election officials confirm or refute Voter X's claim that Jane Smith
was not on the ballot?

Having a voter verified paper ballot that only shows the candidates selected
does not solve this problem (same can be said of a DRE "receipt"... whatever
that is).

The OVC system can and must stand up to this challenge. We can confirm what
the voter saw or didn't see because we have the CD from which the voting
machine was booted, and we'll be able to exactly replicate the presentation
of choices. (witnesses verify insertion of the CD before voting begins and
removal of the CD when the polls close).

Can we feel confident that this "irrefutable proof" would withstand any
challenge in court? How would other systems fare in this situation?

Alan D.
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:04 2004

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