Re: Ballot disclosure and vote anonymity/coercion

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sun Dec 14 2003 - 15:32:47 CST

|> Write-in votes are particularly effective ways of
|> revealing your vote because these are always subject to manual
|> processing.

"Alan Dechert" <> wrote:
|Always? I thought that some states don't examine write-ins unless they
|break some threshold condition.

But even there, SOMEONE must have access to the write-in votes, in case
that threshold condition gets met. The guys with the brass
knuckles--whom I mention in my threat examples--might well have a poll
worker as a collaborator. If this poll worker notices any ballots where
the coded write-ins don't match the commanded votes, they can let the
bad guys know... even if the write-ins are never formally counted for
elections purposes.

Btw. I recognize there are many levels of coercion possible. In real
life, probably the most common threat is a pushy spouse or relative who
might want proof of a desired vote. In that case, it's probably safe to
discount inside collaborators and the like, and only consider threats
available via things the voter herself can take away (receipts, digital
camera pictures of screens, etc).

However, there really are cities where a candidate for city council is
the type of person who has friends whose campaign strategy involves
brass knuckles. This kind of intimidation is probably not as germane at
a national level as a local one (despite my use of Prez as the coerced
race). We should worry about keeping local races anonymous too.

Yours, David...

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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:11 2003

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