Re: Left off the ballot?

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Tue Apr 13 2004 - 18:38:30 CDT

There are perhaps two separate issues being conflated here.

David Merts argued that the CD rom contianing the software might be sufficient to reconstruct the simple case of a faulty ballot image. Karl A counters that if its a time-dependent software glithch this might not be detectable from the CD.

If the concern is being able to detect a machine malfunction then its not strictly neccessary to have the voter verify a dense-checksum. If the check-sum representing the screen were derived at a low enough level (say by checksumming the pixels directly read from the graphics card) then presumably it could be rendered nearly independent of other software errors.

On the other hand if the worry is maliciously programmed software that shows a false ballot then prints a faked checksum then we can go back to the CD. Of course actually finding the malice in the code may not be a simple task. But it is one you can do leisurely in hindsight if tipped off by alert voters.

Thus I think the non-voter verified dense checksum should not be rejected because it was not voter verifed.

Others have suggested the county can print up a "sample ballot" the voter can compare also Alan started the conversation by pointing to optical scanners showing all candidates voted and not voted for. If it is possible to print either of these then it is possible for the OVC machine to print a ballot just like the optical scanner that shows the full orignal ballot with all candidates.

If multi-page size of the full printed ballot is the problem then here is my suggeted solution. Give the voter an option of printing out the full ballot image AFTER the machine has printer has printed out the single page Castable ballot. Most would not print this out. But some would and could check. If the printout occurs after the cast ballot is printed then then a malicious machine might be more easily detected. The printed out full ballot could be multiple pages.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Ramstad <>
Sent: Apr 13, 2004 3:09 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Left off the ballot?

Steve Chessin wrote:

>If you have "another, more dense, machine readable area that would
>represent the entire ballot", but the voter doesn't verify it, or have
>a way to verify it, you're back to square one. You don't know that
>the paper record corresponds to the machine image. And asking the voter
>to verify not just who they voted for, but also the names they saw that
>they could have voted for, is probably asking too much.
Bingo. Very good point. I agree 100%. Thank you.

-- Bob

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:05 2004

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