Re: Ballot Validation and voting machine initializtion

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Mon Dec 13 2004 - 21:38:52 CST

Hello Ken:

I have come to believe that we do need intelligent tokens to initiate voting
machines (surprise Arthur!). The purpose of these tokens woud be several

The biggest issue is how does one initialize a voting machine for each
voter. Diebold and I suspect others handled this by using an intelligent
token that the voter inserted into the machine to start it up for each
voter. I know we went round and round about that last winter and spring and
came with at least 5 different methods that had issues around each one.
Since I've been a poll worker I've changed my mind.

To handle primary elections where voters must vote by party. They would
declare their party preference to the poll worker at the index who would
generate the proper token.

To signal to the voting machine the need to capture provisional ballot
information from the voter with a pop up on screen keyboard and print it
right on the ballot. When printed, provisional ballots could also be ran
through the optical scanner with a special code that would store the
information in another file.

Ken Pugh wrote:
> At 12:40 PM 12/13/2004, you wrote:
>> Hello Ken:
>> Yes, that's a little clearer. FYI: In California (or at least in
>> San Diego County) there is no, "little slip of paper." Once you sign
>> the poll book, you just get in in a second line. Of course during
>> the primaries we used DRE's that did have smart tokens. I guess
>> this means that we've got to develop a pretty flexible system.
> We use mark-sense in our county. So the check-in receipt (marked by
> precinct) is what gets you your ballot in the next line. Then you
> vote where-ever you want and head over to the scanner just before
> exiting.

Actually you probably use optical scan. Mark sense machines actually
touched the paper with small electrodes and looked for areas made conductive
by an application of graphte from a #2 pencil if I understood them
correctly. If you don't mind, where do you live and vote?

>> Your proposed system isn't so different than, David Chaum: Voting
>> booths with secure receipts
>> <>
>> which isn't too attractive. Try looking in the archives under the
>> phrase, "ducks," as well as the normal search phrases like "Chaum."
> It doesn't appear to be quite the same. The voter could produce a
> second copy of the ballot if they wanted to. However it would not be
> turned in nor would it be legal for any purposes. The
> "VoterVerifier" is completely controlled stock. Since it would never
> need to be invalidated (due to a voter marking a ballot wrong), then
> the audit of the stock is simplified.

Well, I suppose it could be be integrated with the intelligent token I think
we need for the system but I just really don't get how it would work or more
particularly how another step like that would dramatically benefit things.
Sorry to be dense. I promised myself I'd do some book keeping tonight so I
guess this is a little more pleasant. One more note, and I've got to get to

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

>> As for poll working, volunteer early and often. Not only is it a
>> good reality check, but poll workers are usually badly needed.
>> Thanks, Ed Kennedy
>> --------
>> Ken Pugh <> wrote:
>> At 10:36 PM 12/11/2004, you wrote:
>>> Hello Ken:
>>> Pre-voting?, voting validators?, sounds a little more complicated
>>> than it should be. I've been a poll worker and I can tell you that
>>> complicated = misunderstanding = disenfranchisement and incorrect
>>> votes.
>> I was looking at this from a different view. Let's assume that a
>> goal is to have as universal voting as possible. One approach would be to
>> distribute ballots as widely as possible and make it as easy as
>> possible to complete the ballots.
>> For example, Oregon has an all-mail voting system that works. Their
>> one requirement under HAVA is to have one DRE in each county to help
>> disabled voters.
>> My proposal was a different slant on this idea. People could vote at
>> home using paper or computer-aided systems. They could use programs
>> that checked for ! overvotes and undervotes, if they so desired. They
>> could rework their ballot as much as desired. There would be no need
>> to invalidate overvoted ballots, as another ballot could be printed and
>> marked (or marked and printed).
>> The amount of time spent at the polls would be reduced to identifying
>> yourself and to slipping the ballot into the scanner. The
>> "VoteValidator" is simply the mechanism to denote that accompanying
>> ballot has been
>> cast by an identified voter. It's the equivalent of the signed
>> envelope for the Oregon mail ballot.
>> For voters who haven't filled out a ballot, they would do so at the
>> polls, just like they do now. However there would not be a need for
>> controls on the Markomatic machines. They would simply be producing the
>> same
>> style ballot as any of the other mechanisms.
>> The controls would be on the distribution of the VoteValidator cards
>> and on the scanner/vote box itself. The VoteValidator doesn't appear
>> t! o be much different in terms of paperwork than the slip of paper
>> that I get when I sign in and which I then turn over to another
>> person to get my actual ballot. The scanner/vote box should have at
>> least two people manning it. The VoteValidator would go in first.
>> This is the equivalent of a poll worker having to reset a voting
>> machine for the next voter. However, since it's pretty tangible, it
>> would be easier to understand. Then the voter would put their ballot in.
>> I haven't worked as a poll worker. A representative group should be
>> included in the design of any system that is developed to insure
>> that the system works easily.
>>> I expect the scanable ballot to be printed up on the spot after the
>>> voter tells the Markamatic that they are done voting. Yes, special
>>> paper might be a good idea. As an aside, to make it reliably through a
>>> scanner,
>>> even once, it's going to have to be card stock or similar. I don't!
>>> know about other States, but we had 15 races and 25 propositions
>>> this November which ended up being printed on both sides of one
>>> piece of legal size paper.
>> So the Markamatic may have to print up to three pages for a ballot.
>>> And of course, Doug hits the nail on the head about applying good
>>> sense when working through voting problems.
>>> Thanks, Ed Kennedy
>>> ===========================
>>> Douglas W. Jones wrote:
>>>> On Dec 11, 2004, at 1:21 PM, Ken Pugh wrote:
>>>>> It appears that there are two basic approaches to electronic
>>>>> voting system.
>>>>> 1.) The printed ballot is supreme.
>>>>> Ballot may be filled in manually
>>>>> Ballot may be filled in by computer
>>>>> Ballot is tallied by scanner.
>>>>> 2.) The printed ballot is a receipt
>>>>> Ballot is filled in and tab! ulated on the computer
>>>>> Printed ballot is used for verification
>>>> There's another position that I think is superior to these two:
>>>> The electronic record and the printed record are both viewed as
>>>> fallible and subject to subversion. A hacker can hack into a
>>>> computer and corrupt data. A counterfeiter can print up counterfeit
>>>> ballots and swap them for the real ones. We can adopt technical
>>>> means to defend against either attack, but if we adopt laws that
>>>> say:
>>>> In the event of a disagreement, the paper dominates.
>>>> Then all you need is a good counterfeiter, while if your rules say
>>>> In the event of a disagreement, the electronic copy dominates.
>>>> Then, all you need is a good hacker. The rule I would prefer to
>>>> see says:
>>>> In the event of a disagreement, an invest! igation must be
>>>> initiated in order to determine which copy is most likely to be
>>>> correct... The rules could go on at length about what other things to
>>>> examine, such as pollbooks, event logs, exit polls, and other
>>>> evidence that could serve to corraborate one or the other copy.
>>>> Doug Jones
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> OVC discuss mailing lists
>>>> Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OVC discuss mailing lists
>>> Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
>> _______________________________________________
>> OVC discuss mailing lists
>> Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
>> --
>> 10777 Bendigo Cove
>> San Diego, CA 92126-2510
>> "We must all cultivate our gardens." Candide-Voltaire
>> _______________________________________________
>> OVC discuss mailing lists
>> Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
> _______________________________________________
> OVC discuss mailing lists
> Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to

OVC discuss mailing lists
Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:12 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Dec 31 2004 - 23:17:22 CST