Re: Council yanks voting machine funding

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Mon Aug 16 2004 - 18:01:57 CDT

Here's a scenario with the VeriVote (paper on a roll).

A poll worker snaps a picture on a phone-cam (everyone has them these
days) of all voters using a certain DRE. Compromising their ballot
secrecy (a law) and privacy (a norm) would be as easy as knowing the
order of the valid votes on the roll and matching names with faces.
This is very serious... and it seems that VVPAT-on-a-roll is even
worse in this respect than snipping the prinouts into a ballot box
(like Avante's system) because at least there you're almost guaranteed
that they don't fall *exactly* in a one-to-one order.


----- Original Message -----
From: Edmund R. Kennedy <>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 15:55:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Council yanks voting machine funding

Hello Charley:
     The OVC privacy provblem presuppose someone with a cam-corder
outside the polliing place or some secreting a miniturized video
camera with a RF hook up within the polling place perhaps through a
ventilation duct or a light fixture. Also, as the ballots are dropped
into a ballot box they are not guaranteed to land in the order that
they were dropped. Finally, I believe ballots are serially assigned
unique but pseudo random numbers before printing and being written to
the CD at the close of voting. I'm not saying voter privacy isn't a
bit of a weak issue compared to others but I do think it's handled
pretty well by the system design.
Thanks, Ed Kennedy

charlie strauss <> wrote:

Regarding the lack of privacy if vote order is preserved by
reel-to-reel printers.

Is there really a problem here?
the order that people actually vote at a polling place is not
officially recorded ( or at least the common practice is there is a
sheet linting the regiustered voters for a precint in alphbetical
order, and these names are checked off as each person votes, but the
order they are checked off in is not recorded).

Now in principle some evildoer could stand outside and record people
entering and leaving. Also a poll worker with the memory of Kreskin
could memorize the order.

But as long as those persons dont have access to the roll itself this
knoweldge does no good.

So it seems to me that by administrative procedure it might be
possible assure the polling record was, reasonably, not

I note that OVC itself has ! an administrative step that shuffles the
ballots and that until then the vote order is preserved.

In principle then the only difference is that the OVC step is
irrevocable destruction of vote order. Whereas the reel-to-reel system
depends on continuity of access limitation to preserve perfect

Thus while the OVC system has an advantage in simplicity, that both
systems are workably anonymous.

am I missing something.

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Joseph Lorenzo Hall
UC Berkeley, SIMS PhD Student
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:13 2004

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