Re: What is Data Model FOR?

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 10:39:24 CDT

Humm. Doesn't it get a little messy and awkward to
deliver the ballots inside an ox? Sounds rather Old
Testament. Of course this could be a misunderstanding
due to humor error factors. ;-)

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

--- "Douglas W. Jones" <jones@cs.uiowa.edu> wrote:
>
> On Apr 29, 2004, at 12:40 AM, dr-jekyll@att.net
> wrote:
>
> > Does "vote aggregation" mean vote totals? The
> Data Model I submitted
> > does have a place for accumulating vote totals.
> For the Ballot
> > Questions, there is a Yes_Ctr and a No_Ctr. The
> Candidate For Office
> > has Vote_Ctr.
>
> The general term we ought to use is canvassing. The
> canvassing process
> computes the overall vote totals. For a simple
> yes-no vote, canvassing
> involves adding up the number of yes and no votes.
>
> This is simple until you think about doing it
> jurisdiction wide, and
> think about defending against all possible attacks
> by both insiders and
> outsiders intent on corrupting the canvass. Also,
> you have to defend
> against clerical error, which generally is as
> dangerous as deliberate
> attack.
>
> So, here's the canvassing model that is emerging as
> the best bet for
> DRE and optical mark-sense systems, which suggests
> that it is also a
> good bet for us:
>
> At each precinct, a precinct-level canvass is
> conducted, reporting:
> a The number of ballots counted
> b The number of votes for each candidate or
> position on an issue
> c The number of undervotes for each race
> d The number of overvotes for each race
> (always zero for DRE)
> e The number of voters who signed in to vote
> at this precinct
> f The number of provisional ballots
> distributed at this precinct
>
> All this information should be printed at the
> time the polls are
> closed, and posted in public at the precinct.
> Observers and
> precinct officials can verify that a+f = e,
> and that, for each
> race, b+c+d = a -- and if these don't come out
> equal, something is
> wrong and ought to be investigated. Some
> causes of problems aren't
> disasters (the fleeing voter who takes his
> ballot home instead of
> voting it is a classic), but discrepancies
> should be very small.
>
> Note that item e is computed by people,
> outside the computer
> system,
> and is therefore a significant check on the
> computer system.
>
> The ballot images from each precinct (electronic
> records of all
> ballots
> cast) are transmitted electronically (internet,
> sneakernet, packet
> radio,
> the technology used is not an issue) to the
> central canvassing center,
> usually a county office.
>
> A precinct official telephones a person at the
> canvassing center and
> reports
> at minimum, items a, e and f, but reading down
> the whole list of
> numbers
> is wise. Items a, e and f should be read back
> and confirmed over the
> phone.
> This phone conversation should be conducted
> loudly and in public, so
> witnesses at each end can take notes if they wish
> to confirm what was
> said.
>
> The physical ballots (if any), paper records and
> electronic records
> from the precinct are sealed in a ox, together
> with a copy of the
> printout that was posted on the at the precinct,
> are delivered by two
> election judges, representing opposing parties,
> to the canvassing
> center. The sealed box, envelope or whatever
> should never leave their
> joint custody. (This delivery constitutes the
> sneakernet delivery
> path
> mentioned above.)
>
> At the canvassing center, the box is unsealed
> and, after the
> electronic
> records have been entered into the computer
> system used for
> canvassing,
> the totals for that precinct are compared with
> the totals delivered on
> paper from the precinct.
>
> Electronic delivery of precinct totals to the
> canvassing center is
> highly resistant to clerical errors such as
> transposition of digits or
> numbers, but the omission of a file (for example,
> a PCMCIA card or a
> CDR disk) is a common clerical error too. The
> hand delivered records
> allow inspection of the electronic record to see
> that is is all there,
> with no omitted machines and that all votes are
> accounted for, and
> that
> nothing has changed since the data was reported
> from the precinct.
>
> All provisional ballots are delivered to the
> board that oversees their
> certification. Once certified, they are
> tablulated and included in
> the
> canvass. Similarly, absentee ballot tabulations
> for the precinct are
> certified and tabulated. Sums for provisional
> and absentee ballots
> should be maintained separately from the official
> ballot count, so
> that
> they do not obscure the accounting.
>
> At the canvassing center, once the data from the
> precinct has been
> checked,
> it may be incorporated into totals for the entire
> jurisdiction of that
> canvassing center.
>
> If there is a hierarchy of canvassing centers,
> communication from the
> regional canvassing center to higher canvassing
> centers follows the
> same
> model as outlined here. Once the canvass for the
> regional center is
> completed, totals are posted in public at that
> center prior to
> transmission
> to a higher center, and any electronic
> transmission should be
> protected by
> redundant transmission, for example, by voice and
> paper, to protect
> the integrity of the data.
>
> > Regarding Data Models, they are not just for
> relational databases.
>
> Right. Note that this is one of the most glaring
> failures of the
> Compuware
> report for the State of Ohio. They set a criterion
> for the voting
> system,
> that the data model of any database in the system be
> clearly documented,
> and then, on determining that the system used binary
> files with no
> database
> management software, as such, they claimed that the
> criterion was
> inapplicable.
> In fact, the lack of a database management system
> made the criterion
> all the
> more relevant because the use of ad-hoc
> roll-your-own databases
> generally
> obscures the data model and makes it all the more
> crucial to carefully
> investigate the data model and see if it is well
> thought out.
>
> Doug Jones
>
=== message truncated ===

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:22 2004

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