Re: Left off the ballot?

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Apr 13 2004 - 17:08:21 CDT

On Apr 13, 2004, at 5:39 PM, Bob Ramstad wrote:
> Would it be appropriate to add another, more dense, machine readable
> area that would represent the entire ballot i.e. each position on the
> ballot and all available choices for each position? 

This really has no benefit!

Just because a 2D barcode is printed on the ballot that contains
complete information on the ballot template, that really doesn't prove
that the voter was presented with those same choices. While there are
certainly codes that can represent much more information than Code128,
a voter has no capability to discern the content of those codes without
specialized equipment. The existence of an underlying
ballot-election.xml file, like that at:

        http://cvs.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.py/*checkout*/evm2003/src/evm2003/
data/ballot-election.xml?content-type=text%2Fplain&rev=1.3

Isn't in question. That's just what *should be* presented by the GUI
and VII, not what *actually* was. Maybe there really was a counter
overrun, timing error, or memory leak of the sort Karl or I suggested;
and maybe the voter wasn't given the "Jane Smith" option. There is a
class of errors where the data missing from the voting station
interface would get represented in the 2D barcode; but there is another
class where the flaw in presentation wouldn't be reflected in the
barcode.

I really do urge my suggested printed guide as a procedural solution.
Before entering the voting booth, every voter has access to a "Guide to
the November 4, 2004 Election in Santa Clara County, CA" (modulo
county, date, etc). This guide might be mailed to homes, and/or it
might be made available at public sites (just like currently). Along
with other information, the guide should let voters know:

---
The candidates for Supervisor in your district are: Jane Smith; Sally  
Jones; Lyle Loving; and Win Yan.  If your voting station does not  
accurately reflect these choices, check with a poll worker to make sure  
you are voting at the correct polling place.
---
Or something along those lines.  Maybe with a mockup of the GUI  
screen(s) for sighted voters.  And maybe things like candidate  
statements, affiliations, etc, depending on jurisdiction.
Quite apart from assuring ballot integrity, this information lets  
voters weigh their votes fully before getting to the polling place.
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---[ Gnosis Software ("We know stuff") <mertz@gnosis.cx> ]-----------
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:05 2004

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