Re: Ballot Validation and voting machine initializtion

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Mon Dec 13 2004 - 22:48:48 CST

Ed Kennedy wrote:

> 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 fold.
> 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.

Ummm...couple comments here.

In the voter registration data collected by the SecState's office, party
affiliation is listed. They can output Comma Separated Values data to
the county, which your system then imports.

The volume of data is small enough that every voting machine can have
the whole set. That means there's really no problem at all with people
voting at ANY precinct(!) because once they identify themselves to the
system, it "knows" where they live and what party they are, and can
present the ballot accordingly.

The only remaining issue is "how do they identify themselves"?

Avante's answer is a sixteen digit alphanumeric code for each voter.
They use the first eight digits to ID the human, the next eight to ID
the ballot style used (I think two or three of those digits is a county
ID unique in the nation). This code is on a "dumb card" that's very
tough and flexible. Once ANY of the systems records a voter with that
number as having voted at a specific time, when the totals are all piled
up, any duplicates result in a flag and all subsequent after the first
get tossed...copying an ID card doesn't allow fraud.

But...we should remember that Avante was using such cards to ID people
coming in and out of buildings and trade shows. Their voting system was
originally an attempt to find a new use for the cards <GRIN>. So they
were biased towards using said cards and hence we can't assume that's
the only way to skin this cat.

However. They did prove that a "dumb token" can be used to ID voters.
And in their scheme, inserting the card cannot insert extranous data or
program files. In the Diebold touchscreens, the "smart cards" have 128k
RAM on board of which only 4k - 8k is needed for "voter ID" - the rest
is full of God only knows what. I cannot recommend highly enough y'all
do NOT do like that, or you'll have me outside your office doors
protesting yer arses :). <joke!>

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:12 2004

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