Re: About the Voter-verified community

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue Dec 07 2004 - 16:28:20 CST

Hello Arthur:
While I think my sentiment is already clear, I don't actually see any conflict between the 'Dechert' system and the ballot marker (the Markamatic?, the Markatron?) as long as it is viewed as one of a number of intermediate step towards a fully integrated system. I believe we were talking about taking a longer term view towards developing the system so this wouldn't be contradictory to focus on this sub-component. As it is, North Carolina, Colorado, California and Utah are begging us for such a thing, and want it yesterday. We've got to get off the dime here!
Thanks, Ed Kennedy

Arthur Keller <> wrote:
This message represents the sentiment of many in the "voter-verified"
community. Do we want to join the bandwagon and combine our voice
with theirs (and develop an open source alternative for it) or do we
want to continue with the Dechert architecture (I'm not calling it
the OVC architecture, because Doug Jones refers to "open voting
systems" in the plural, and to give Alan credit for originating it)?
Open source is a means towards the goal of reliable, secure,
trustworthy voting systems. I think we should consider how best to
deal with the HAVA deadlines and the timelines for meeting these
deadlines, and consider how our work fits within the context of the
larger movement.

Best regards,

>Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 14:06:52 -0700
>From: "Joe Pezzillo"
>To: "Cvv-Discuss@Coloradovoter. Net"
>Cc: "Arthur Keller" , "David Aragon" ,
> "Pete Klammer"
> "Barbara Simons"
>Subject: Re: Hand Recounts of votes recorded on DREs
>Not sure about the leading "A", but VVPAT means: Voter Verified
>Paper Audit Trail
>In Boulder (and on most of the national lists I've seen, as well),
>many folks are specific about using the similar acronym VVPB for a
>paper ballot instead of just an "audit trail"
>I'm sure there is discussion in the archives or on the website about
>the importance of this distinction, at least in Colorado where we
>have the problematic "method of recount" law.
>In general, the dozens of Boulder citizens who researched this last
>year reached consensus around asking specifically for a paper ballot
>to be the official record of the voter's intent, instead of creating
>a possibly ambiguous situation in which there could be "two" ballots
>(the DRE record and the audit trail "receipt") and one might have to
>fight in court for the paper to have primacy.
>Then, if paper is going to be the official record, there is no
>reason to use the term Audit Trail, nor to have the artifact be
>difficult to hand count (a la an ATM or gas pump type print out), so
>instead, let's ask for what we want: a paper ballot.
>The "compromise" position was to propose using "vote marking"
>machines (and specifically not vote recording devices of any kind)
>that could offer all the accessibility, language, and ballot style
>benefits of a tablet DRE, but instead, the device creates uniform
>marks on "regular" ballots to be hand counted and/or optically
>scanned. The same device could offer audible read-back of a cast
>ballot for verification. I've heard these devices now called
>In any event, part of the importance of these terms is that the
>"audit trail" term has been used against voter verification and
>trustworthy election advocates by people such as Colorado's
>Secretary of State, who ignore the request for a paper ballot by
>saying that "adding an audit trail is too complicated" (or too
>expensive, or too difficult for elections judges to manage, etc.) So
>instead of talking about the benefits of paper ballots, the
>discussion is lost on modifications to DREs that we don't want to
>begin with. There is also the valid concern that the "audit trail"
>will provide a false sense of security if not treated (that is,
>counted) like an official ballot; imagine a majority of voters
>leaving a polling place having voted "Yes" on an issue, but the
>final DRE total says "No" and everyone just assumes the machine
>total must be correct because they saw the paper slip, even though
>the paper slips were not tallied as part of the final total. Of
>course a physical audit of the "slips" might catch such an error,
>but in places where such an audit is not currently automatically
>provided for by law (such as Colorado), there's no guarantee that
>the audit would occur, and if the slips differ from the DRE, what's
>the likelihood that the legal basis for using them will be
>challenged if they are not "official" ballots to begin with?
>We haven't been asking for an audit trail in Colorado, we've been
>asking for paper ballots, and we recommend the same to voters across
>the nation.
>Paper Ballots are certainly what I'm wishing for, and I'm not afraid
>of wishing for them, either!
>Joe Pezzillo, Citizen Activist
>Boulder, Colorado USA
>On Dec 7, 2004, at 1:32 PM, Paul E Condon wrote:
>>On Tue, Dec 07, 2004 at 12:18:10AM -0800, Arthur Keller wrote:
>>>At 11:14 PM -0800 12/6/04, David Aragon wrote:
>>>>Barbara Simons wrote:
>>>>>A "hand recount" of paperless DRE votes should come up with
>>>>>the same tally that the DRE originally produced, unless the
>>>>>DREs are really really broken.
>>>>Clearly it can't detect errors in the recording of votes to
>>>>produce the DRE output. But it can detect errors in the
>>>>tallying of those outputs downstream of the DRE's -- which is
>>>>certainly an area of concern and potential source of errors.
>>>It can also detect errors in the tallying of votes WITHIN the DREs.
>>>>So it's not pointless. But neither is it the end-to-end
>>>>audit function that "hand recount", with its connotations
>>>>of painstaking meticulousness, has formerly meant.
>>>Certainly it is better to have an AVVPAT for each DRE. But let hand
>>>recounts of DREs go forward with the painstaking auditing process if
>>>there's a chance it's not pointless. We don't want election
>>>officials deliberately avoiding a great deal of effort by choosing
>>>DREs without AVVPATs. Be careful what you wish for, you just might
>>>get it.
>>Please excuse a question whose answer is obvious to most everyone
>>on this list: What does AVVPAT stand for?
>>Paul E Condon

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 Fri Dec 31 23:17:06 2004

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