Re: First draft of Stepping Stones

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Mon Dec 13 2004 - 10:38:51 CST

Hello Ken:
 
Fine by me. I have been realizing that this is a guide to software development. However, we do need an over all clear view of the system we want to plug components in. For the ballot design, I've been wondering if the registration bars on the scanner are proprietary. Does anyone know if there is some sort of copyright or patent?
 
Thanks, Ed Kennedy

Ken Pugh <kpughmisc@pughkilleen.com> wrote:

I'd like to put your stepping stone in a slightly different organization:

*** Registration
This is the authorization and authentication system for voters. This is
now being handled by the states (at least from what I read of HAVA).

*** Ballot preparation and counting

* Ballot creation

The ballot creation software creates the "Ballot Definition File", which is
used by ballot printing, ballot scanning, and ballot tabulation software.
This software is probably much more complicated than the actual tabulation
software. I have read that ballots in many areas are actually created by
the vendor, due to the complexity of the software and/or the infrequency of
use. Development of this software would require close involvement of
election officials to insure that it was usable.

* Ballot printing

This is your Markomatic software along with perhaps the "Butterfly Ballot
Killer".

* Precinct level tabulation

This is the scanner with software to create the voting machine and precinct
totals. (If there is only one scanner, then these are the same). The
totals should be available on paper (for verification with the voter
check-in) and should be transmittable to the election district tabulation
by some secure means.

*County tabulation

This is the software that takes the precinct level totals and creates the
totals for county. It should also create web pages that display votes at
a precinct level.
* State tabulation

This is software that creates the totals for a state.

I believe that if one is going to have a usable package, it must include a
system that performs the first four operations. From my viewpoint, on a
functional complexity scale (not considering security issues), the county
tabulation is simple. The precinct level tabulation is a bit more
complicated. It involves some scan manipulations, image examination, and
comparison to ballot templates.

The Markomatic is more complex, in the sense that there is a user interface
that has to be designed in conjunction with a number of voters.

The ballot creation software, I believe, is still more complex. It needs
to have a very easy to use interface for election officials. It may need
to be able to read in a variety of file formats that delineate what
precincts exist. It has to allow for different ballots for each
precinct. However without the ballot creation software, none of the
remaining systems are usable, unless a ballot definition file can be
obtained from one of the commercial vendors.

Ken

At 12:34 AM 12/9/2004, you wrote:

> * The Registron: This is a computer aided voter registration and
> verification system. There would be a main system at each county
> registrar's office in communication with the Secretary of State's office
> and self contained clients that would be taken to each polling place on
> election day. > Markamatic especially during primaries.>
> * The Butterfly ballot killer: A user friendly computer aided design
> system that would automatically design a machine readable paper ballot
> that would be transmitted to a main software generator. This software
> would integrate and seal the OVC system and the ballot design together
> and publish both on one CD.
> * The Markamatic: This is a touch screen voting system and ballot
> printer with multilingual capabilities, ADA compliance sub-modules that
> would run on commodity PC's from a CD. One for every 100 or so expected
> voters.
> * The ballot checker: After the ballot is printed, the voter could
> verify that the printed ballot read as voted. These would be VII
> compliant with headphones. One at each polling place.
> * An optical ballot scanner. These already exist. For now, we'll use
> the existing ones..
> * The polling place canvassing/auditing system. This would walk poll
> workers through the steps of canvassing each vote, check counts, and
> otherwise audit the voting count.
> * Computer aided vote aggregation, summation and report generation at
> the County registrar's office that would also report to the Secretary of
> State's office.
>
>
>
>The problem:
>
>
>
>Development of this is taking just a little bit longer than was originally
>conceived. As a matter of fact, the whole system could take years to
>develop. Responsible people in several states are begging us to make our
>system available right away. We've got definite focus and cash flow
>problems. In addition, OVC members are getting frustrated.
>
>
>
>A number of States are going to be deciding on voting technologies soon
>because of the ripple effects of the 2004 election controversies and the
>availability of HAVA money.
>
>
>
>
>
>The Markamatic Product (Item 3)
>
>
> * A touch screen voting system similar to current DRE's
> * A commodity PC, preferably new
> * Software and ballot data run from a CD and in computer memory only
> * Pop up, on screen keyboard for provisional ballots and write in
> candidates
> * Secure Linux OS (Linux Lock Box) certified and open source.
> * Ballot printing with bar code summaries and optical scan
> registration marks on consumer grade printers
> * ADA compliance as good if not better than DRE's.
> * Capable of integrating with future OVC systems. Capable of working
> with common token readers for primaries
> * Back up power supply.
> * Your points.
>
>
>
>The Markamatic is available in desk top and lap top packages. >recommend the lap top for when a Markamatic has to be taken to a disabled
>voter. You would need one per polling place.>
>
>
>
>Problems and solutions:
>
>
> * What about the other components of the full OVC system? There are
> real problems with these items in the voting process.
> * The voter registration process is clearly broken. However the
> solution is clearly a robust, user friendly data base system with
> optional web interface. This is not as challenging a problem as the
> Markamatic.
> * The butterfly ballot killer. No will argue that ballot design
> isn't a problem. However, it's not as dire a problem as the one solved
> by the Markamatic.
> * The ballot reader / verifier. This interfaces with the
> Markamatic via the printed ballot. There has to be a ballot to verify
> first. Hence, do the Markamatic first.
> * The polling place canvassing system: Similar answer as the
> ballot reader.
> * The ballot aggregator/report system. Needed but we have hardly
> begun to conceptualize this product. Besides it needs the ballot reader
> which needs the Markamatic
> * Are there advantages to this proposal?
> * People would get used to ballots with bar codes.
> * We can leverage our reputation on this
> * Cash flow will increase.
> * We've solved what the public perceives as the problem.
> * Registrars would love to not have to print and supply ballots
> and deal with hand written provisional ballots. This could be a real
> sales point.
>
>
>--
>Thanks, Ed Kennedy
>
>10777 Bendigo Cove
>San Diego, CA 92126-2510
>USA
>
>"Let us all tend to our gardens." Candide - Voltaire
>
>
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"We must all cultivate our gardens."  Candide-Voltaire

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:11 2004

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