Question re ballot limitations - Automark vs. Punch-card Ballots

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_at_uscountvotes_dot_org>
Date: Sun Apr 24 2005 - 22:16:24 CDT

I have a need for a timely answer (our public comment period closes in 2
days) to a question.

A rumor was spread here in Utah that has secretly effectively stopped
the consideration of the AutoMark op scan system and convinced the Utah
election office to purchase DREs. I just found out about it Thurs.
night. (The vendor was not even informed of this rumor or given a
chance to correct it.)

Is it true that the total quantity of ballot issues, races, and
candidates that can be handled by a punch-card ballot is larger than
what can be handled on a large-sized (8.5"x17") op scan paper ballot
that AutoMark uses?

(I figure a comparison could be calculated by counting the number of
total useable holes on the largest punch-card ballot and counting the
number of lines times the number of columns that could fit on the
AutoMark ballot. But I don't know how many holes the punch cards for SL
county hold, nor how many lines fit onto the largest AutoMark Op Scan

Does anyone know?

I just learned that this argument is being spread behind the scenes by
friends of DRE (in particular Diebold - who had as many as 5 paid
lobbyists here in Utah) voting machines - i.e. that op scan ballots are
limited, while DREs are not and the Utah election office secretly
excluded the AutoMark bid from consideration unbeknowest to the public,
(I had wondered why the press never even reported that there was an
AutoMark op scan option being considered here because our election
office always neglected to mention it to them.)

Thank you.


Kathy Dopp

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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:12 2005

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