Re: Council yanks voting machine funding

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon Aug 16 2004 - 19:35:00 CDT

Charlie Strauss wrote:
>> 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.

On Aug 16, 2004, at 7:24 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:
> The entire order need not be memorized to violate the right to a secret
> ballot. If only the last person to vote is known, then his or her
> ballot
> would be known to be the last one on the roll. I think that revealing
> a
> single ballot would be a violation.

I don't think Charlie fails to understand the advantages of the OVC
design. I think he would urge--and certainly I would--that anonymity
protections be considered as shades-of-gray, not simply as
black-and-white. And also, channeling Charlie, I think human
procedures are very important, along with actual technology and
designs.

The OVC design is pretty darn good; the VeriVote system is
significantly less good. But VeriVote VVPT is still a big step in the
right direction from DREs. Having some nuance to our comments on the
different systems is a good thing.

When counties are considering voting machines for 2004, it's not a
choice between Diebold DREs and the ideal systems OVC hopes to build in
the future. They need to actually run the election *this year*. I
wish we had something to sell to counties right now, but unfortunately
we're not quite there. Given the concrete choice, Sequoia's VeriVote
is a relatively good option. Of course, there's nothing really *wrong*
with paper-and-pencil ballots, so for a lot of places not buying
anything is better than buying VeriVotes. It depends on context.

Yours, David...
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:13 2004

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