Re: The welcome to the mailing list letter, suggested

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Apr 20 2004 - 15:16:57 CDT

Teresa Hommel <tahommel@earthlink.net> wrote:
|My point was, exactly, that when the ballot arrives in the
|ballot box as a result of the voter taking an action to signify
|that it has been verified, it is considered legally verified
|whether the voter scrutinized it or not.

We are in agreement that there is a certain legal fiction involved in
casting a ballot. The cast ballot is legally binding, in much the way a
contract is. But here are the parallels I see between OVC ballots and
contracts:

      Ballots Contracts
      ---------- ----------
  1. Printed Drafted
  2. Verified Examined
  3. Cast Signed

In both cases, step 2 is something we would LIKE to happen. But the
legal requirement at issue is that a person is given the right/
capability to perform step 2, not that they concretely do so. In both
cases, the document becomes a legal instrument once step 3 is performed.

As a legal matter, we must make contracts examinABLE; but in practice, a
lot of people perform the signing without doing the examining. In
general, those people are still legally bound by those contracts (absent
coersion or other factors that prevented the actual examination).

We should avoid characterizing OVC ballots as "Voter VefifIED" because
it invites a contest to ballot legality: "Yeah, sure, I CAST my ballot;
but I hadn't VERIFIED it... so it can't be binding." I don't think a
court is going to consider and OVC pamphlet or mailing-list intro as
governing; but we still want to encourage people to think about these
issues accurately.

It's interesting, Teresa, that your own website uses the "verifiable"
terminology:

  http://home.earthlink.net/~acisney4/id16.html

Or maybe that only refers to you (it's the first thing google has to say
about your name)... following the link to:

  http://www.wheresthepaper.org/index.html

I see usage of both "verified" and "verifiable"--albeit with a
preference to the former.

Yours, David...

--
Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food from the bellies
of the hungry; books from the hands of the uneducated; technology from the
underdeveloped; and putting advocates of freedom in prisons.  Intellectual
property is to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:14 2004

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