Re: Reel to reel vote storage

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Aug 17 2004 - 01:02:10 CDT

> At 9:25 PM -0400 8/16/04, David Mertz wrote:
>> Along those lines (as Doug also points out), it's not absurd to
>> imagine a procedure under which election workers put a ballot roll
>> into a cutting machine after poll close. And even that they properly
>> invert the roll to avoid seeing the votes before the cuts are made.
>> And so on. Sure you have to trust someone; but you need to trust
>> elections workers (to a lesser extent) under OVC's design.

On Aug 17, 2004, at 1:31 AM, Arthur Keller wrote:
> And of course, the ballots are always exactly the same length. And
> the cutting machine always measures correctly. And a paper trail
> where the ballots are sliced in the middle is still easily used.
> Right?

Of course I like the OVC design better. If nothing else, I had a hand
in shaping it, so I *should* like it.

But if I were really interested in developing a VeriVote-like system, I
could easily come up with procedures and safeguards to deal with issues
of this sort. Or imagine that I was stuck with my jurisdiction's
selection of a VeriVote-style machine: I could still recommend best
ways to deal with these types of weaknesses.

After all, the types of concerns Arthur suggests are really not a lot
different than those facing OVC: what if the pre-cut paper jams? Inkjet
vs. Laser. What if voter leaves printed ballot without casting it into
ballot box? How do we know forged ballots aren't slipped into ballot
box? And so on.

The OVC dangers have answers, but they -do- take some answering. I
don't mean to start all those discussions again--read the archives
instead. But they are/were legitimate questions.

I think the rolled-paper ballots are similar. Sure the rolled-paper is
a bit worse overall. But it's not all that hard to start pondering the
use of registration marks to guide a cutter, or specially notched
paper, or things like that. I don't want to try to specify such
hypothetical details because... well, it's not our design, and it's not
my job to work out that stuff. But the mechanical issues with VeriVote
that Arthur observes are not FUNDAMENTAL the way that the problems with
DREs and close-source software are (or course, Sequoia is also
proprietary, which worries me more than fallible paper cutters do).
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:13 2004

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