Re: Write In to overt Voting tabulation Fraud

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Apr 15 2008 - 10:41:41 CDT

The last voting machine we had suffered a horrible fate.

I believe that in some states, if there is not a qualified write-in, no entryfield for a write-in appears on the ballot (whether electronic or on paper). My guess is that if you write in a name that is not qualified, on an electronic voting machine, you will not get any message about your vote not being counted or misspelled (I suspect that Doug Jones actually knows the answer to this). As for misspellings, I suppose that's why there is an option for the write-in candidate to list alternate spellings: it's too difficult for the system to deal with misspellings so if it's not on a list of variations, I'd say an electronic system will throw it out.

I suppose in some jurisdictions using hand-counted hand-marked paper ballots they will try to handle misspelled write-ins (or unregistered variants, like M. Jones instead of Mary Jones ... the locals might agree the voter meant Mary Jones, but this will probably not compute in Chicago)

I notice that Mark Hull-Richter listed quite a few "variations" -- including some that weren't all that close (e.g. "Paul Victor").
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election_2006/status/official_cert_list_writeins.pdf

I have been thinking about this some for our own demo. We are using the pvote.org voter interface (NSF/ACCURATE developed) and it does not deal with this issue at all.

Here's what I am thinking.... Voters should be allowed to write-in whatever they want, but should be informed when they have written in a name that will not be counted, and the voter should be offered to see a list of qualified write-ins (from which they can select one, if they want). If there are no qualified write-ins, the voter would be informed of this after choosing the write-in option (i.e., "write-in whatever you want, but it won't be counted").

Right now, with the summary paper ballot our demo system prints, the write-in is simply printed there as the voter's selection. I want to make it work like this: We will print the unqualified write-in but in such tiny print that it will be unreadable except with a magnifying glass. The summary paper ballot will indicate something like, "no vote, unqualified write-in." That is, we will show the fact graphically: their write-in was recorded on the ballot, but the system will not pick it up and it will not be counted. Qualified write-ins should be handled like any other candidate except their names do not appear unless the voter selects the write-in option. This way, we don't have to deal with saving the actual text written-in by the voter. Also, this will practically eliminate the issue of ballot signing.

Alan D.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: dr-jekyll@att.net
  To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list ; 'Open Voting Consortium discussion list'
  Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 4:52 AM
  Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Write In to overt Voting tabulation Fraud

  Is it possible that any of our OVC'ers has access to one of these voting systems to see what happens when a candidate's name is misspelled when entered? It is my belief that in 2003, when I was helping evaluate the proposed new HAVA-compliant systems, I did a write-in vote for some off the wall candidate and I received no indication of any kind that my vote wasn't going to be counted.

  If someone gets an opportunity to try this again to verify the behavior, I'd appreciate it. It looks like another strong-arm tactic by the political party bosses against any challenge to their power.

  --
  Kurt

  Nor yet, O Freedom! close thy lids
  in slumber for thine enemy never
  sleeps. -- The Antiquity of
  Freedom By William Cullen Bryant

    -------------- Original message from "Ed Kennedy" <ekennedyx@yahoo.com>: --------------

> Wow! Total surprise to me. I'm one of the folks that actually read the
> manual from cover to cover. (Poll working can be BORING.) However, maybe
> it was something that they felt only the tabulators needed to know.
>
> --
>
> Edmund R. Kennedy, PE
> 10777 Bendigo Cove
> San Diego, CA 92126
>
> Work for the common good.
> My profile:
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ovc-discuss-bounces+ekennedyx=yahoo.com@listman.sonic.net
> [mailto:ovc-discuss-bounces+ekennedyx=yahoo.com@listman.sonic.net] On Behalf
> Of cls@truffula.sj.ca.us
> Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 5:42 PM
> To: ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net
>! Subjec t: Re: [OVC-discuss] Write In to overt Voting tabulation Fraud
>
>
> Here's the list from November '06
> http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election_2006/status/official_cert_list_writ
> eins.pdf
> This is from this year's primary.
> http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election_2008/cert_list_presidential_writein
> s.pdf
>
> Those are the names they have to count when they're written in,
> and the DREs have to recognize. If you write something else,
> it's the same as not voting. Someone with lots of spare time
> can research the exact statute or regulation that says so.
> I got it from the last election lawyer I worked with, and
> the registrar agreed. They're supposed to tell you this stuff
> when you take poll worker training. If they don't. maybe they're
> incompetent, or maybe they don't want you to know the law.
>
>
> Cameron
> > < BR>> _______________________________________________
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Received on Wed Apr 30 23:17:03 2008

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