Re: Ballot Validation and voting machine initializtion

From: Keith Copenhagen <K_at_copetech_dot_com>
Date: Tue Dec 14 2004 - 10:44:34 CST

Make that "computer's camera" and "envelope".

Pass the coffee, please.

On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:38:41 -0800, Keith Copenhagen <>

> I claim there is a natural conflict between the "open" in OVC and
> information
> that is only readable by a machine.
> We are talking about an equally or more important data flow parallel to
> the ballot
> which is the "voter qualified to cast" information.
> If you are specifying a mag card (barcode/intelligent token) why not
> have a
> human readable voter registration paper-card that is "shown" to a camera
> camera and
> OCR'd to determine the ballot to provide.
> The voter reg card could be printed on demand by the sign-in station and
> collected synchronous with the ballot. The reg card could be
> pre-printed or be the
> provisional ballot envelop.
> -keith
> On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:57:46 +0000, <> wrote:
>> I have an innate suspicion of using a smart card that contains the
>> voter ID. It could be used to undermine the secret ballot.
>> --
>> Kurt
>> This email sent using 100%
>> recycled electrons.
>> -------------- Original message from Jim March <>:
>> --------------
>>> 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 . 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 :).
>>> Jim
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Keith Copenhagen
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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:13 2004

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