Re: Question re. Op Scan error rates vs. Punch Card error rates

From: Edward Cherlin <cherlin_at_pacbell_dot_net>
Date: Tue Aug 16 2005 - 19:38:09 CDT

On Tuesday 16 August 2005 08:51, Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:
> The intent of HAVA, IMHO, is to get rid of the
> Votamatic punch card system and similar.

That's fine, but your previous statement is exceedingly imprecise
in an important way. There are reliable punch-card voting
systems--those that use a card punch to cuts rectangular holes
in the cards, rather than a pin to push out a prescored circular
chad. IBM card punches were engineered to have less than one
incorrect punch in a billion.

> Got to get
> back to work. Is anyone seriously proposing that
> we use a punch card system?

True punch-card systems would not have the hanging chad problem,
but they cannot easily be verified by the voter.

> Also, as Doug pointed
> out, the actual error for op-scan is under 1% which is
> pretty darn good.

Yes, optical scan has long been known to be the best
voter-verifiable hard-copy technology.

> Thanks, Ed Kennedy
> --- Joseph Lorenzo Hall <> wrote:
> > On 8/16/05, Edmund R. Kennedy <>
> >
> > wrote:
> > > Hello:
> > >
> > > Punch card systems are now illegal.

Unlikely, but irrelevant. The public can't tell the difference
between card punches and push-out pins.

Edward Cherlin
Generalist & activist--Linux, languages, literacy and more
"A knot! Oh, do let me help to undo it!"
--Alice in Wonderland
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Received on Wed Aug 31 23:17:26 2005

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