Re: Ballots for elections with many races FOCUS IS NEEDED.

From: <dr-jekyll_at_att_dot_net>
Date: Wed Apr 28 2004 - 07:17:19 CDT

Hi Ed,

I agree, for whatever IMHO is worth.

I think our time line needs to be more aggressive. For example, last year, when I participated in the Denton County (Texas) evaluation of voting equipment, our County Elections Administrator explained why they try not to buy new (=different) equipment in even numbered years. That's so they can get their feet wet during smaller elections. That makes our deadline early to mid 2005 if we hope to have any chance of getting approved in Texas. We also need to get approved by Texas SOS first.

I'd like to help develop a Process Model to complement the Data Model I submitted a few weeks ago. I've received very little comment about it -- and that scares me. I think what we need are some forms-based programs for the definition of the pre-election data. For example, the Secretary of State's office, County Elections Admin, and VES's should have forms-based programs like this:

AMD (Add Modify Delete) Ballot Question
This module will add, modify, or delete Ballot Questions. They can import from another source that uses a compatible data layout. They can edit or delete one or more Ballot Questions. At the State level, we'll recommend starting the ballot questions' ID with an "S". If the county or municipal ballot questions' ID's begin with "C" or "M", we'll have no collisions on ID's.

Because our Data Model is not a secret, the data can then be posted publicly on the Internet for download by the counties, municipalities, and individual VES's. That's incredibly more efficient than the proprietary applications as they need to sneaker-net their data to protect their trade secrets.

The specifications for AMD CFO Contest, AMD Political Party, etc would be similar.

Once the pre-election data is in place, other forms-based programs can be written to create ballot presentations for the screen and for the hard copy.

Goota go. I'm getting virus scan messages.


> Hello All:
> I am getting a little out of focus on what is needed and by when. Is
> the OVC standards going to try and be all things to all people in all
> nations? Are we just focusing on replacing the DRE machines in the State of
> California? Should ballot considerations in Illinois matter now? How about
> balloting schemes in England? I'm concerned that there seems to be an awful
> lot to do without a lot of structure or any sort of schedule that has been
> clearly articulated. Perhaps it's down in the archives somewhere but this
> discussion about ballot issues in Illinois brings these issues to my
> attention.
> A Modest Proposal:
> Given:
> 1. Many of us live in California. (Yes I know this is chauvinistic and
> provincial with contributors from around the world.)
> 2. California has clear and documented problems with DRE's.
> 3. It has recently decertified portions of one major DRE system.
> 4. It's possible that substantial funds and resources could be made
> available both from the California Secretary of State's office and the
> University of California.
> 5. It's 6 months and 4 days until the next election.
> 6. A demonstration system has been demonstrated with positive reaction in
> the County of Santa Cruz. (For the record, I live in the County of San
> Diego.)
> Proposed:
> Development of the Open Voting system needs to proceed on multiple tracks.
> To stimulate discussion on these issues I propose the following.
> 7. One track is to proceed with the over all development of the hardware
> and software specifications along with human factor engineering and review.
> This would be aimed toward providing a largely agreed upon framework for
> systems to be built first for the State of California and then set up for
> the California elections in 2006. The suggestion that this would be
> provided by private section companies is to be reasonably accommodated here.
> 8. In the County of Santa Cruz, there should be a pilot program for actual
> voting machines running actual open source code in one or more precincts for
> the Nov. 2004 elections. These would have to be certified on a more or less
> crash basis by the Secretary of State. As ballots would actually be
> generated, this might be more acceptable to the Secretary of State's office
> than limping along with Diebold DRE's.
> 9. After the large scale testing of the California elections of 2006,
> lessons learned could be applied to specifications and the system expanded
> to accommodate other interested states and nations. Obviously there would
> be a more or less infinite feedback loop of improvements and modifications
> over time.
> 10. These suggested dates are not meant to rule out other US States using
> systems developed to Open Voting Standards at some earlier times. Nor are
> they meant to lock smaller scale pilot projects just to Santa Cruz,
> California. However, ones does have to start somewhere.
> I look forward to hearing your responses.
> Thanks, Ed Kennedy
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Steve Chessin" <>
> To: <>
> Cc: <>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 5:35 PM
> Subject: Re: [voting-project] Ballots for elections with many races
> > >From Tue Apr 27 15:24:28 2004
> > >Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 15:24:14 -0700
> > >To:
> > >From: Arthur Keller <>
> > >Subject: Re: [voting-project] Ballots for elections with many races
> > >Cc:,
> >
> > >>>But I don't see how 100 Judicial Confidence votes can fit on one
> > >>>piece of paper. Maybe with a really small font. Or a creative use
> > >>>of space that e.g. groups together the Yes, No, and No Preference
> > >>>Judges within different boxes on the ballot. But overly creative
> > >>>typography and layout makes voter verification less simple and
> > >>>reliable. So do we just spill over to as many pages as are needed?
> > >>>Is it legal to only record the relatively rare "No confidence"
> > >>>votes, and just leave off the usual "Yes" or "No Preference" votes?
> > >>>
> > >>>What does the wisdom of the OVC opine on this matter?
> >
> > >Oops, I misread this. The printed ballot should fit on one page; the
> > >user interface need not. Too little sleep.
> >
> > The printed ballot need not fit on one page, unless the jurisdiction
> > has a law that requires it (in which case they may need to amend their
> > law to keep pace with technology).
> >
> > Multiple pages for ballots (or equivalent) are not unheard of.
> >
> > I believe DataVote punch cards (still certified for use in California)
> > can use both sides of the card (since the punches are made only near
> > one edge of the card as it faces the voter, not all over the surface).
> >
> > Some optical scan machines can use both sides of the scan sheet, and
> > have for some elections. (I think this was the case in the March
> > primary for Contra Costa County, California.)
> >
> > Multiple cards and sheets have been needed in some elections.
> >
> > As long as you say something like "CONTINUED ON OTHER SIDE" and "CONTINUED
> > ON NEXT PAGE" in a large enough font on the bottom of odd/even pages,
> > respectively, or "PAGE <n> of <m>", you should be okay.
> >
> > The bar code could just encode the races on that page, as well as
> > encoding "please scan next page for more races". (This will help the
> > Election Office staff who do the random spot-checks when they are
> > checking that the bar code audio matches the printing.)
> >
> > You should use (or at least support) printers that can print both sides
> > of the page. A bit more in capital expense, but they'll reduce the
> > continuing cost, especially for whoever gets them next (when they're
> > more likely to be used for multi-page documents).
> >
> > For those of you who live in California, go to
> > and, if your county has a red
> > star next to it, click on your county, and enter your address and
> > party registration. See if your choices would have fit on one page.
> >
> > For my ballot, I'd have these showing:
> >
> > President: one choice
> > U.S. Senator: one choice
> > Representative: one choice
> > State Senator: one choice
> > Assemblymember: one choice
> > County Committee: six choices
> > Judge office 7: one choice
> > Judge office 18: one choice
> > County Supervisor: one choice
> > Water District: one choice
> > Prop 55: yes/no/(no vote)
> > Prop 56: yes/no/(no vote)
> > Prop 57: yes/no/(no vote)
> > Prop 58: yes/no/(no vote)
> > Measure 2: yes/no/(no vote)
> > Measure A: yes/no/(no vote)
> >
> > for a total of 21 selections.
> >
> > This would easily fit on one page. You'd need to research the most
> > races on a ballot. (Take a large city like San Francisco that has many
> > local ballot measures, and used to elect their board of supervisors at
> > large.)
> >
> > --Steve
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:20 2004

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