Re: Fwd: Ballot format presentation for VA joint subcommittee on voting equipment and certification

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_at_uscountvotes_dot_org>
Date: Wed Aug 24 2005 - 23:15:41 CDT

Arthur Keller wrote:
>>
>> efficiency are primary concerns of local election officials. They do
>> not like hand audits of paper records because it is a labor intensive
>> process. Voting reform groups are pushing hand recounts of a random
>> sample of precincts as an independent end to end check on the voting
>> system. The use block randomized ballot IDs opens up the possibility
>> of an end to end check that is both more powerful and more efficient
>> than hand counting small sample of precincts. If there are problems
>> with this idea please let me know I will remove it from the comments.
>>

Bob,

What are "block randomized ballot IDs"?

If you are suggesting (and maybe you're not) an "independent" audit of
the vote counts using the barcodes on an op scan ballot rather than the
humanly readable text, the problem is that the same errors that might be
in the initial electronic count would probably be duplicated in the bar
codes. Only something that the voter can "easily" verify themselves is
useful for auditing. Any other type of audit is not an "independent"
audit of the voting system.

OptiScan paper ballots could be audited by hand with very little extra
expense and effort if an extra shift of "poll workers" were recruited
for the audit duty when polls closed. Op scan paper ballots that had
already been counted electronically by precinct-based optiscan machines
could be sorted into piles for each selected candidate/issue for each
race and then the piles counted, then resorted for the next race. It
would not take that long per polling location.

The first problem with paper rolls is that they require extra step on
the part of the voter to verify their paper record and the majority of
voters may skip that step.

Second, for the ridiculously designed paper rolls, it would be nearly
impossible to hand count them accurately, especially when there were a
lot of races - but hand counting would be absolutely necessary because
any mistake in the original electronic count would be likely to be
replicated by the bar code on the paper rolls and trying to randomly
select ballots from the paper rolls to hand verify that the bar codes
matched the hand written count would also be a ridiculously difficult
process.

Are "block randomized ballot IDs" easily verified by voters without
adding an extra step to the voting process, and can be electronically
counted without replicating possible errors in the original count?

Best,

Kathy

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Received on Wed Aug 31 23:17:30 2005

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