From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Sun Aug 24 2003 - 17:15:36 CDT

On Sunday, August 24, 2003, at 04:13 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:

> For the demo, I think we stick with plain upper case English alphabet.
> Agree/disagree?

Of course, but we have to be ready to admit that that's not
really multilingual (and don't call it the English alphabet,
it's the Roman alphabet, adequate for use with most European
languages, although many would like some accent marks.)

> Time permitting, maybe we could support accented characters.

Don't worry about them at first, but admit they're needed.

> I thought that maybe we could have a shift-button labelled
> "Accented Character" whereby when depressed, you'd get a list
> of accented characters dropping down when a character is
> selected on the keyboard.

This is the kind of thing that works perfectly when you allow for
even brief training, but the problem is, voting systems have to
work with no training at all. The thing to do, probably, is to
allow some kind of plug-and-play keyboard interface so that it
can support whatever dominant typing rules are common in the host

And then, note that French typists are frequently sloppy about
accents anyway. For quick and dirty work, they'll leave them
out. Voters are likely to do just this, and good write-in laws
have got to permit missing accent marks as a class of common
typos that don't disqualify the write-in vote.

Of course, lousy laws will say: A write-in vote is invalid unless
the name appears in exactly the same form as it appears on the
candidate's officially registered name in the national records.
This allows voters to feel good by casting write-in votes, but it
makes it highly unlikely that those votes will be counted.

                                Doug Jones
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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:15 2003

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