Re: FAQ # 25

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Mon Dec 15 2003 - 16:13:28 CST

Doug,

> I urge that we deemphasize or eliminate the phrase "bar code" from
> our discussion. Yes, the prototype uses a bar code, but as quickly
> as possible, we should move away from the use of bar codes and toward
> OCR, so that all machine recognition of the ballot content uses
> identically the same text that the voter verifies when the voter
> looks directly at the ballot. In the long run, bar codes should only
> be used for machine-to-machine communication of information that is
> not intended to be human readable.
>
I know at least one person here that might agree (Dennis has been saying
that for some time).

> The point is, differences between the material presented in the bar
> codes and the material presented in human-readable form are possible,
> and as soon as it is technically and economically feasible, we ought
> to make this problem go away by eliminating the use of bar codes.
>
But I think we have a workable model. Until another workable model is
demonstrated, we should stick with it.

The salient requirements are:

1) The reading impaired voter casts a ballot in the same format as everyone
else.
2) Verification of the ballot can be obtained -- this must be on a machine
separate from the one on which selections were made
3) Both the ability to vote privately and unassisted must not be
compromised. The verification process must not risk exposing the contents
of the ballot to another.
4) The machine reading the ballot must be inexpensive.

I would say our proposed model meets these requirements rather well.
Certainly, I have no objection to switching to another system that meets
these requirements as well.

#4 is going to be tough to beat. Our prototype costs practically nothing
and works fine.

Alan D.

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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:13 2003

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