Re: Critical analysis of VoteHere

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Sat Dec 13 2003 - 17:48:01 CST

Charlie,

> Somehow I'm only seeing one side of this e-mail conversation (only
> Alan's e-mails are coming through).
>
I was talking to myself.

> Anyhow there's some clever thoughts in here. marking your own ballot
> might not solve the issue since you might be told what to mark it with.
>
Where did I say mark your ballot? To verify your vote, you'd only need to
remember the 4-digit ballot ID. I said "make a note of it"

> My own thought on how to get around the coercion/voting buying issue
> is simply to allow the voters to create fake, but real looking,
> receipts, perhaps on a demo machine in the lobby.
>
This would not work if the votes are published. That is, the only way you
could really fool someone with the fake is if you could point to the
published votes and say, "see, it's a real ballot." Actually, it's the mere
existence of the system that would prevent people from demanding proof of
the vote from another because everyone would understand that you can't know
someone else's vote if they don't want you to.

The system I've outlined means that you'd be printing exact duplicates of
authentic ballots. There would be no way to distinguish the real from the
fake. There is no harm in this from the election administration standpoint
because there is only one ballot with some copies. The real one can only be
counted once.

> But I'd like to get off the receipt issue here for moment to re-ask the
> original question.
>
Also, "receipt" is not a correct description of the printout in the OVC
system. You will be printing the "OFFICIAL BALLOT" -- not a "receipt."
Other systems have confusing/conflicting descriptions of what the paper
printout represents because their system designers are confused. A DRE with
printer is an oxymoron.

> The goal is to have voter verified ballots. And Dave Mertz pointed
> out Issues like voter's being able to check for themsleves that their
> ballot was counted outside the poll is nice but not essential.
> Receipts are not essential. ....
>
Again, the OVC system prints the OFFICIAL BALLOT. I don't care about
"receipts."

> But the votehere system uses receipts in a
> clever way to possibly create voter verified electronic ballots. These
> other features are just cool side effects not the main point.
>
I'm not interested in voter verified electronic ballots. That's not part of
the scope of what we're looking at here. Like most people here, I have
investigated this issue extensively and have decided we need the physical
token -- a printed ballot -- that represents the vote.

David Chaum knows a lot about that. Talk to him.
http://www.chaum.com/

Rebecca Mercuri is working some with Chaum now too.

Alan D.
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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:10 2003

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