Re: FW: Not your ordinary barcode

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 15:35:27 CDT

|From: Eric Lazarus [mailto:eric.lazarus@decisionsmith.com]
|Why can't the BPD computer basically fill in a pre-printed, numbered,
|polling-place counted, human readable ballot? That's the quesiton that
|my secuirty expert friend RB asks. It should just draw the same lines
|that a human could draw between candidate on one side and office on the
|other. We could use existing systems to read such ballots.

I've heard of, but never used, connect-the-dots style ballots. Do
members who have used them know what the existing scoring systems for
those are? I kinda assumed those were hand counted, but maybe some kind
of computer scanners are used. Or maybe it differs between the
precincts that use them.

Actually, I wonder how those styles handle multiple-selection, either
ranked or approval. It's not obvious to me how that would work, but
there may well be a technique.

A lot of people find whatever ballot they have used in the past to be
natural and intuitive. But these intuitions, naturally, vary between
each jurisdication where different voters vote. If OVC were to print
out connect-the-dot style ballots, a voter from some other jurisdication
would probably ask "Why can't OVC just print a fill-the-bubbles style
ballot?" (because that's what seems natural to them).

I'm not either pro- or con- connect-the-dots style. At first brush, I
find the style of the demo ballots clear, intuitive, and easy to hand
count (if needed). Even though I've never used a ballot quite like the
OVC one. But the issue should be decided by general usability
concerns/studies, not by what one particular voter is already familiar
with. My hunch is the the demo layout is pretty close to optimal in
this respect... but I might be proven wrong by usability studies.

In any case, it's certainly not the case that most jurisdictions have
existing systems to count connect-the-dots ballots. Some do, most
don't.
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:13 2004

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