Re: WHAT THE DEMO WILL DEMONSTRATE -- V.001

From: Skip Montanaro <skip_at_pobox_dot_com>
Date: Wed Aug 20 2003 - 21:44:02 CDT

Now commenting on content...

    Alan> 2. COMMODITY PC BASED VOTING

    ...
    Alan> Most people are not aware that the touch screen DREs being sold
    Alan> today are really just repackaged commodity PCs. So, our system is
    Alan> not really that different. It's just that the repackaging is a
    Alan> lot simpler and the PCs can go back to becoming regular PCs right
    Alan> after the polls close.

It's not clear to me that when they aren't being used for voting purposes
that the hardware can go back on the receptionist's desk. Aren't there
physical security issues to be considered? For example, could someone
replace/reprogram the BIOS or disk drives in insidious ways which would
affect the next election?

    Alan> We will also explain the possibility that vendors will just rent
    Alan> the systems to the counties. In this scenario, a PC remarketer
    Alan> could take existing PCs from inventory -- sanitize them, test
    Alan> them, deliver them to the polling places and then, after Election
    Alan> Day, put them back on the road to wherever they were headed.

I know you've thought a lot about this, but I'm still a bit leary of
hardware that hasn't been kept under lock and key.

    Alan> 5. ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM THAT PRODUCES A PAPER BALLOT

    ...

    Alan> We'll probably use an inexpensive compact laser printer, like
    Alan> maybe an HP LaserJet 5L that can be had on eBay for 50 bucks. The
    Alan> printer will have to be situated in the voting booth so that
    Alan> someone walking by will not happen to be able to view the
    Alan> printout.

There is the practical problem that adding all this hardware to each voting
booth makes the booth bigger and generates a lot of extra heat, especially
laser printers and large monitors, and especially in warm climates. Polling
places tend to be in churches and schools and don't always have the most
up-to-date HVAC systems.

    Alan> 9. TOUCH SCREEN VOTING WITH DENSE BALLOT AND STYLUS

    Alan> Most touch screen systems literally have the voter touching the
    Alan> screen with their finger. Fingers are too broad to precisely
    Alan> locate a position on the screen. Fingers also transfer grease to
    Alan> the screen necessitating frequent wiping. Our touch screen
    Alan> printer will work with a stylus allowing for more precise location
          monitor???????
    Alan> of the touch and eliminating the need to wipe the screen.

    Alan> 15. ONE PERSON ONE VOTE

    Alan> People often ask what's to stop a voter from printing and
    Alan> depositing more than one ballot. The voter can print more than
    Alan> one but, in our system, the only one that counts is the one they
    Alan> deposit in the ballot box. After the ballot is deposited, they
    Alan> sign on the roster next to their name.

Can't they still run through the line a second time pretending to be someone
else? That's a hazard in current voting systems. Will EVM address this?

    Alan> 22. OBVIOUS VOTER INTENT
    ...
    Alan> The radio buttons for the County Commissioner race should remain
    Alan> as radio buttons. In this case the radio buttons would not be
    Alan> individually selectable but would indicate the position of the
    Alan> order of selection.

I'm not sure I understand how this would appear to the voter. If I select
Wally first, Sally second and Fred third, will the order of names change or
will a number be displayed next to each choice? Will the voter be able to
reset the radio buttons and start from scratch? I don't recall what the
sample ballot looks like and didn't find a reference to it on your website
with a quick scan. Maybe it's self-evident from that.

Skip
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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:13 2003

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