Vote Handling

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sat Dec 13 2003 - 09:43:34 CST

For many years, I've voted with the punch cards used in Santa Clara
County, California. Let me describe the process. I enter the
polling place where I state my name and address. They look up my
name in the voter rolls. I then sign the voter roll next to my name.
I am then handed a punch card ballot. It's in three parts: a punch
card region, a write-in region, and a numbered ballot stub. I then
insert the punch card region (still attached) into the punch card
station, and punch the ballot using the stylus for all the votes. If
I make a mistake ("spoil a ballot"), I then return the entire ballot
with stub attached and get a new one. I can get up to two
replacement ballots. The spoiled ballots are saved to reconcile the
number of ballots at the end.

Once I have completed voting my ballot, I then hand it to the clerk,
who removes the numbered stub and hands that to me. The numbered
stub, which doesn't describe my vote, is my receipt that I voted.
The other two parts of the ballot are placed in the ballot box. The
number of ballots in the ballot box should equal the number of
voters. It may be less but never more. The number of voters, plus
the number of spoiled ballots, plus the number of unused ballots
should equal the total number of ballots issued to the polling

A similar approach can be used for OVC.

1. Ballot stock is created with a perforated numbered stub on one
(short) end of the ballot.
2. A blank ballot with stub is handed to a voter after signing the voter roll.
3. The voter places the blank ballot into the input tray of the printer.
4. The voter votes on the voting machine and checks the vote on the computer.
5. The voting machine prints on the blank ballot stock. The printed
ballot is designed to avoid the ballot stub regardless of whether it
is handed in first or last. The bar code is printed on one side of
the sheet on both long edges, so it can be read in either direction.
6. The voter checks the printed ballot, reading it or using the
barcode vocalization application.
7. The voter hands the ballot to the polling place clerk, who removes
the stub (handing it back to the voter), and places the ballot in the
ballot box.

If the ballot is spoiled (or jammed), it is returned to the polling
place clerk, who hands another blank ballot with stub to the voter.

There is more risk of jamming with this approach, but much better
control over the voting stock to eliminate multiple votes from the
same person or use of substitute ballot stock. It also allows for
reconciliation of blank ballot stock, spoiled ballots, and actual
votes placed in the ballot box.

Comments wanted.

Best regards,

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:10 2003

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