Re: Ballot Validation and voting machine initializtion

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Wed Dec 15 2004 - 03:44:23 CST

Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:

> Hello Jim:
>
> I just had someone suggest that I've fallen into the 'trust-me' trap
> on a related issue. Just as this person said to me, What you are
> saying makes good sense cyber wise but doesn't work so well election
> wise, I'm saying the same to you. In particular, you are effectively
> saying, trust me about being able to stop attempts to cast duplicate
> votes. Your idea with Joe's extension has a lot of merit especially
> the bit about being a disposable token. I would suggest that a fixed
> position bar code reader might be easier to live with than a camera.
> The reader would be set up in the same way that Joe proposes a camera
> to be. However, what about Joe Lunchbucket? I had an elderly
> relative who never could figure out how the cassette recorder/player
> we gave him worked. He wasn't dumb either as he worked as a lead tech
> for Coors Ceramics before he retired.
>
> Thanks, Ed Kennedy

Well yeah, there's some basic issues here. BUT! Broaden the picture
out: how do you prevent duplicate voting IN GENERAL?

OK, let's take it back to a classic paper vote. You've got people
filling out ballot slips and putting them in boxes. How do you keep
them from doing it twice?

You make them sign in at a polling place, they get one pre-printed
ballot, they fill it out and then either take it back to the pollworker
saying "I screwed it up, can we rip this one up so I can try again?" OR
"here's my vote, let's stick it in the box".

You have to force people to vote at that one polling place under their
name, because there's no way to quickly "cross reference" for the same
login name across multiple polling places. Not without a ton of eyeball
scanning for every single name.

OK. Once you have a "token" that can be plugged into any voting
terminal, you solve a lot of problems.

Now. Guy walks up to a voting machine, "barcode vote token" in hand.
The screen says "HOLD BARDCODED VOTER ID SLIP UNDER THE SCANNER TO YOUR
RIGHT, BARCODE SIDE UP". Scanner has the word "SCANNER" on it.
Backwards or forwards doesn't matter, both edges have live strips.

Machine turns on when it reads, they vote. End of voting session, the
screen says "DEPOSIT BALLOT (LARGE PAPER) IN BALLOT BOX NOW - THE SMALL
SLIP OF PAPER YOU USED TO LOGIN TO THE VOTING MACHINE WITH CAN ONLY BE
USED ONCE - TOSS IT IN THE BALLOT BOX TOO." That way the message the
voter is a unified "chuck all the vote-related papers in the ballot box"
versus "ballot box for one paper, throw the other away" - they might mix
'em up!

It works, guys. Easy enough to chuck out the small papers ("tokens") at
the place where the ballot boxes are opened.

Jim
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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:15 2004

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