Re: FAQ # 8

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Tue Dec 09 2003 - 14:18:38 CST

This definition has a slight problem. In my state any many others the term DRE is applied promisculously. For example, we have optical scan ballots. the device that tabulates this is considered a DRE by the state, though obviously it is a bid of a different feather from an all electronic system. In part what makes the optical scan ballots DREs in this instance is that legally no one is allowed to count the ballots after they go into the tabulator. Only the votes recorded on the memory cards are the legally recountable votes in my state. Thus this is semantically a DRE not physically.

 personally when I explain DREs to people, I go further and lump DREs into three bins, ones that are semantic DREs like the case above, ones that are miserably simple finite state machines that one can exhausively validate, and then there are the true computer systems which while being technically finite state machines cannot be exhausitvely validated or perfectly cut off from the outside world.

In my mind the last category is what I mean when I say DRE. It would to flag this confusion in the answer and distinguish the meanings.

finally, here is a FAQ web page my voting study group uses to help educate new people in this area. It may not all be in sync with OVC philosophy but some of it may be useful, especially some of the terminology definition.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Dechert <>
Sent: Dec 9, 2003 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] FAQ # 8

Thanks Rick, for taking that one.

It might be preferable to say "record your vote electronically" instead of
"tabulate your vote electronically." I don't think what you have is wrong,
but we often think of "tabulation" in the context of aggregating votes --
not so much as recording a single vote.

Also could use a grammar and spell check.

Alan D.

> On Tue, 9 Dec 2003, Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) wrote:
> > "What is a DRE?"
> >
> Direct Recording Electronic, or more simply electronic voting machines
> which tabulate your vote electronically. DRE machines are part of a
> mandate by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to provide federal
> funds for the replacement of traditional punch card voting machines.
> A lot of controversy has been raised about the trustworthyness of DREs
> many independant sources have found them to be vulnerable to a wide range
> problems ranging from security problems to lack of auditability to the
> of a voter verifiable paper ballot.
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:06 2003

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