Re: How big could a bar code be if a bar code could be big?

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 15:37:22 CDT

David,

> If we find barcodes can be no more than N inches, or L digits or
> whatever, and the weird incompressible vote doesn't fit in the allowed
> inches, then we've just disenfranchised that "weird" voter. VERY not
> good!
>
> So in evaluating any compression technique, we need to PROVE
> mathematically that every legal vote will be compressed by the minimal
> ratio we rely on. ........
>
I agree this subject needs to be studied in some depth before we can claim
to know the answers.

However, I don't necessarily agree that we have to use one scheme that works
for every situtation. Keep in mind that on our demo ballot, more than half
the bits are for one contest -- the ranked preference contest, "County
Commissioner."

What if we find that we can use a 1-d scanner that will work in 99.9 % of
the circumstances. Say, in San Francisco, they go for IRV and they have big
ballots so we need a 2-d scanner. What if the 1-d works in 2,218 counties
while it doesn't work in one. Do we force the 2,218 other counties to go
for 2-d scanners (maybe $200 ea X 200,000 polling places) ? And you probably
need at least 2 scanners per polling place.

I don't see this as an major architecture issue. Our system could work the
same way with 1-d or 2-d barcodes. If a jurisdiction has no need for the
2-d, I see no reason to force them to pay for it.

Alan D.

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:27 2004

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