Re: How efficient are DRE's in a hand recount?

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Sun Dec 05 2004 - 09:51:25 CST

On Dec 4, 2004, at 3:40 PM, Fred McLain wrote:

> Washington is doing a hand recount in the Governor's race. In my
> county, (Snohomish), they are going through a huge process of printing
> out ballots from the DRE tallies. They then plan on hand recounting
> those printouts.
> Just what do they think that will achieve? It seems like a "feel good"
> measure.

I strongly urge people to make this point loudly in public to the
officials involved. With DRE systems, the meaningful recount measures
focus on the integrity of the election management system. Demand that
they go back to the polling place closing reports and the zero tapes
printed before the polls closed and check the paper record, from the
precinct, against the data from the eleciton management system.

If these paper records don't exist, there is big trouble.

The value of recounting paper records from the election management
system's printout of the voting machine's data is not zero, but it
is low, because you're relying on the same election management system
that produced the first count. An independent assessment of the data
inside the DRE machine's memory cartridge would be valuable, as would
a comparison of the data from the election management system with
data extracted from one of the other memories in the DRE system.

                Doug Jones

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:03 2004

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