Re: [OVC-discuss] Fwd: [Votingtech] Touchscreen Voting Machines Cause Long Lines and Disenfranchise Voters

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sun Apr 19 2009 - 16:35:31 CDT

On Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM, Alan Dechert <dechert@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> This is very interesting -- not surprising at all and supports several
> claims I've made over the years.
>
> 1) Computerized voting systems need to be sufficiently inexpensive so
> juridictions can have plenty of machines.

+1

With mandatory spares, please.

> 2) The one-page-per-contest interface, that many such systems use, is bad
> for anything but small ballots (few contests).  This includes Ping's pvote,
> which have used for some demos -- fine for 1 - 8 contests, but starts to
> suck beyond that.  It's way too tedious to force voters to go through a
> review screen-by-screen.

I haven't found it to be worse than multi-page ballots on punch card
machines. (We used the kind that incorporated an IBM-style card
puncher, and didn't have prescored chad. A very reliable system, but
one that could not be discussed with the general public after the
Florida meltdown. Of course, a system that prevents overvoting is
greatly to be preferred.)

> The interface I want to develop for OVC (I think some commercial makers
> already have done something like this ... maybe Doug Kellner can tell us
> more about the Sequoia contract in NY) would have a full-faced ballot on a
> single screen no matter how many contests.  The print might have to be quite
> small, but would zoom to a larger size for the contest.  The voter can see
> all the contests at once and can access them randomly.  Even though the
> print would be small, once selections have been made, those selections stand
> out and be readable.  So the voter can review all selections on a single
> screen.

There are some other UI refinements we can add. For example, we could
make the remaining unvoted contests stand out, perhaps by displaying
them in a different color.

> Extra credit: After the ballot is printed the selections on the
> screen would remain for a few seconds.  The voter could extend the time by
> responding to a prompt.  Some experimentation would be required to see how
> long this post-print session would last and how quickly the screen would
> disappear after the voter declines to continue the review.

I would prefer to leave the selections on the screen until the voter
commits the ballot. Perhaps even until the voter removes the
activation card, if we go with those to prevent multiple voting.

> Alan D.
>
>
>
>> This article may be of interest to the design of an open voting system.
>>
>> Best regards,
>> Arthur
>>
>>> Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 22:48:59 -0400
>>> To: votingtech@hss.caltech.edu
>>> From: Dick Pratt <rhpratt@his.com>
>>> Subject: [Votingtech] Touchscreen Voting Machines Cause Long Lines and
>>> Disenfranchise Voters
>>>
>>> (Forwarded from TrueVote.)  Since this seems to be a scientific paper it
>>> should be of interest to this group.  --Dick Pratt
>>>
>>> [snip]
>>>
>>>>  > ...Bill Edelstein, and his physicist son Arthur D. Edelstein have
>>>>  > written a paper entitled, "Touchscreen Voting Machines Cause Long
>>>> Lines
>>>>  > and Disenfranchise Voters."...  The abstract:
>>>>>
>>>>>  Computerized touchscreen "Direct Recording Electronic" DRE voting
>>>>> systems
>>>>>  have been used by over 1/3 of American voters in recent elections. In
>>>>> many
>>>>>  places, insufficient DRE numbers in combination with lengthy ballots
>>>>> and
>>>>>  high voter traffic have caused long lines and disenfranchised voters
>>>>> who
>>>>>  left without voting. We have applied computer queuing simulation to
>>>>> the
>>>>>  voting process and conclude that far more DREs, at great expense,
>>>>> would be
>>>>>  needed to keep waiting times low. Alternatively, paper ballot-optical
>>>>> scan
>>>>>  systems can be easily and economically scaled to prevent long lines
>>>>> and
>>>>>  meet unexpected contingencies.
>>>>>
>>>>  > (end of abstract)
>>>
>>> Draft paper available at:
>>>
>>>>  <http://arxiv.org/pdf/0810.5577v1>http://arxiv.org/pdf/0810.5577v1
>>>
>>> [snip]
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> votingtech mailing list
>>> votingtech@hss.caltech.edu
>>> http://lists.hss.caltech.edu/listinfo/votingtech
>>
>>
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-- 
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Received on Thu Apr 30 23:17:04 2009

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