Need change to to help NIST comment

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 04:35:59 CDT

This is probably for Chito, but if someone else is working on the OVC

I am working on comments on the EAS Glossary. Hopefully, I will be
joined by member of the OASIS EML TC, and by other members of the IEEE
P-1622 committee (hi Kurt, I'll email off-list). Actually, Arthur
would you like to sign as a P-1583 member? Jan would be good too. And
are you out there Charlie.

Anyway, I want to suggest OVC as an additional reference source for
inclusion in Appendix A of the document; and to reference several
entries as OVC. To do that, I'd like a bit more academic weight at the
URL. The basic FAQ URL is a good start:

But to really make it usable as a reference, I think it should include
*prominent* links to ALL the papers at:

These are duplicated, in parts, at:

Arthur includes a many papers that do not relate to OVC in his page

Specifically, the links to these should be given greater prominence
than those external resources listed under Reference Materials. That
is, the writing the I have done, and on some of which subsets of
Arthur, Joe, Karl, Arnie, and Alan have been coauthors, should be
indicated as more-or-less "official OVC documents." Not to say that
certain details are not subject to change or disagreement; but we want
the NIST/EAS to look at something that reads sufficiently like academic

Ok... really late bedtime for me. Half of you are probably waking up
now. I attach a draft of my comments. but this is only about 1/2
done, so don't complain about the things I simply have not gotten to
yet. That said, contributions/comments on my submission are welcomed,
so I might as well let the list see what I've worked on so far.


Comments on Glossary for Voting Systems (DRAFT)

David Mertz, Ph.D.
   Technical Editor and Member, IEEE P-1622
   Chief Technology Officer, Open Voting Consortium
   Email: <>

Co-signer #1

Standards Coordinating Committee 38
(SCC 38) Voting Standards


We have had an opportunity to review the Election Assistance
Commission's Glossar for Voting Systems draft, and would like to provide
commentary on the draft.

Portions of the remarks concern the clarity and consistency of the
draft. For example, in certain cases, a term is used in one definition
but defined in an inconsistent manner elsewhere. In general, these
inconsistencies reflect your efforts to integrate materials from
multiple sources, each using somewhat different terminology.

The most significant comments we provide here are suggestions for the
inclusion of several additional terms used in discussions of voting
systems. In support of the additional terms, and partially to support
our clarifications of existing terms, we suggest several additional
reference sources for inclusion in Appendix A.

The comments below have the form of proposed entries, with the list of
such entries containing both a subset of existing terms and our new
terms. Each entry is given as we believe it should read, and is often
followed by an explanation (indented) expanding on the motivation for
the entry. We do not recommend the explanation for inclusion in the
entry itself, but simply to provide context.


ABANDONED BALLOT: Ballot that the voter did not cast into the ballot box
or record on a DRE before leaving the polling place. See also Fled

   Explanation: the wording of the draft is grammatically awkward; no
   substantial content change is proposed.

ACCESSIBILITY: [...draft text...] See also Usability.

   Explanation: Accessibility is a specific subset of usability concerns,
   and the relationshiop should be emphasized.

ANONYMITY: Preventing the disclosure of the identity of the voter
associated with a Cast Ballot. Neither the individual identity nor the
aggregate characteristics of voters may be associated with Cast Ballots,
except those characteristics mandated by law. For example, an election
authority might be permitted to disclose the aggregate votes of
party-unaffiliated voters, but will be prohibited from dislosing the
aggregates of only blind voters. See also Confidentiality.
Association: Security
Source: No Attribution

AUDIT TRAIL FOR DRE: Paper printout of votes cast, produced by Direct
Record Electronic Voting Systems, which election officials may use to
crosscheck electronically tabulated totals.

   Explanation: The term DRE was expanded in a fashion inconsistent with
   it definition elsewhere. Multiple usages of the same acronym exist in
   elections discussions, but this glossary should choose a consistent

BALLOT MEASURE: Legislation pertaining to the adoption of laws,
statutes, resolutions, and/or amendments to state constitutions that
appear on the ballot for approval or rejection.

   Explanation: Particularly at a municipal or county level, some ballot
   measures are neither laws nor amendments. Adding statutes and
   resolutions seems inclusive.

BALLOT SCANNER: Device used to read the data from a paper Ballot.

   Explanation: Marksense is only one of numerous technologies used, or
   potentially used, for electronic recognition of ballots. OCR, barcode
   scanners, or other data encoding are possible and used. For example,
   see which states: "marksense
   technology is only one of several methods for recognizing marks on
   paper through optical reading techniques."

COUNTED BALLOT: Ballot that has been processed and whose votes are
included in Contest vote totals.

   Explanation: The definition of Contest includes items not listed in
   the draft definition of Counted Ballot, such as referenda,
   propositions, etc. A uniform reference to Contest, defined elsewhere,
   assures uniformity.

COVERT CHANNEL: A communications channel that transfers information
using a method not documented in the formal description of a protocol or
document format. For example, a Ballot Image or Audit Trail may disclose
information that would violate Anonymity and/or Confidentiality, through
either design error or malice.
Association: Security, Software Engineering
Source: OVC

CUMULATIVE VOTING: Practice where voters are permitted to cast multiple
votes distributed among multiple candidates. Voters are not limited to
giving exactly one vote to each candidate. Instead, voters may cast
multiple votes on one or more candidates, limited by the total votes
they are assigned.

   Explanation: While the most common cumulative method may give voters a
   number of votes equal to the number of candidates, such a relationship
   is not defining of cumulative voting. A particular system within the
   definition might give voters exactly 10 votes to distribute, or 1/2
   the number of the candidates, or 2x the number of candidates, etc.

DIRECTLY VERIFIABLE: Voting system that allows the voter to verify at
least one representation of his or her ballot with his/her own senses,
not using any software or hardware intermediary. Examples of directly
verifiable voting systems include Voter Verifiable Paper Ballots and
Marksense ballots. A DRE cannot be directly verifiable, since it by
definition relies on an Electronic Voting Machine as an intermediary.
See also Indirectly Verifiable.
Association: Voting, Security
Source: OASIS, OVC, IEEE 1583

DRE DISPLAY: Part of the DRE the displays the Ballot Format.

   Explanation: Just adjusting the definition to use the term Ballot
   Format rather than the undefined term 'electronic record'.

Association: Voting, Standardization, Software Engineering
Source: OASIS, IEEE 1622

Association: Voting
Source: OVC, EML

   Explanation: The term EBI is widely used to refer to sense (1) of the
   Ballot Image definition.

all votes cast by a single voter that is created by scanning a Voter
Verified Paper Ballot. An REBI may be compared to its corresponding EBI
in the course of a Canvas and/or Audit.
Association: Voting, Security
Source: OVC

SUMMARY PAPER BALLOT (SPB): A type of VVPB in which only affirmative
voting preferences are contained on a human-readable ballot. For
example, a SPB might contain the name of a voter's preferred candidate,
but omit the names of non-preferred candidates for typographic and
handling convenience
Association: Voting
Source: OVC.


   Explanation: The acronym VVPAT is both widely used, and used in the
   definition of DRE-VVPAT. Its sense is covered in the entry for VVAR.

VOTER VERIFIED PAPER BALLOT (VVPB): A human-readable Voted Ballot
produced with the aid of an Electronic Ballot Printer. In contrast to a
Voter Verified Audit Record which is generally treated as a secondary
safeguard against failures in electronic records, a VVPB is the
considered primary in identifying a voter's intention. See also Voted
Ballot, Voter Verified Audit Record, Electronic Ballot Printer.
Association: Voting
Source: OVC


IEEE 1622
   IEEE P1622 Voting Systems Electronic Data Interchange

   Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information
   Standards, Election and Voter Services TC. Producer of Election Markup
   Language (EML).

   Open Voting Consortium [CA 501(c)6]

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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:01 2005

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