Re: Council yanks voting machine funding

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Mon Aug 16 2004 - 15:47:49 CDT

On Aug 14, 2004, at 4:15 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:

> Also note that the VeriVote printer assembly scrolls the printout from
> one
> reel to the other preserving the order of the vote. This appears to
> violate
> safeguards for a secret ballot.

Here's what I told a Sequoia rep about this:

If this machine was brought to Iowa, we'd probably reject it for this
reason, but:

So long as there is no examination of the paper record, it's OK that
they're
in order. So long as the tape remains rolled up and sealed, perhaps
there
is no problem. The economics of the system might in fact be
appropriate, if
there was a procedure for guaranteeing anonymity when the roll of tape
is
unrolled. For example, one could imagine an unrolling machine, only
one of
which would be needed, per county, that could snip the tape between
ballots
and drop all the separate segments into a bin from which they would be
drawn
for recounting.

There might even be a way to divide the ballots without looking at
them, if,
for example, a mark were printed on the back of the tape between
ballots. In
that case, unreeling the tape upside down and cutting with scissors
would
suffice for privacy protection, assuming the print couldn't be read from
the back.

This is still subject to debate, because it remains possible, in
principle,
to disclose who voted if these procedures are ignored. The question
is, will
the public accept procedural safeguards, or must voter privacy be
absolute.
That is a political and legal question, not a technical one.

                Doug Jones
                jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:12 2004

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