Re: Walking away with the paper ballot.

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Wed Dec 15 2004 - 20:07:12 CST

Ken Pugh wrote:

> Let me pose an interesting possibility. Suppose some voters took away
> their receipts. I could imagine even myself doing it accidentally
> since it's only a "receipt" or perhaps I'd really like to keep a
> record of how I voted. So now the paper records will differ from the
> computer records.
> Ken

Then the voter didn't vote.

OK. That may sound "hardcore" but it has to be that way. People cannot
be allowed to walk away with proof of HOW they voted. If they do, some
will sell their vote, others will be subjected to intimidation all the
way up to violence. Both of these issues occured in New York City over
70 years ago. (It's also a major strike against all forms of "Internet
voting" no matter how otherwise secure - "free voting machines" will
inevitably be set up in union halls and corporate offices alike with
monitoring software in place.)

There are some "intent of the voter mistakes" that can and should be
allowed. The recent election in San Diego county where many people
wrote in "Donna Frye" but didn't check the bubble-box next to "I'm
voting write-in" are an example - there's no harm in not checking any
bubbles other than a nuisance at the optical scanner.

Walking away with proof of how you voted and NOT leaving a final paper
ballot of record isn't the same thing. It is a practice proven to
promote violence and it leaves us with an auditing and proof problem.

Voter stupidity should be tolerated where harmless. Walking away with
the final legal paper ballot (which must be marked as such!) and
ignoring the on-screen (or audio track for the blind) prompts to deposit
the final paper ballot in a ballot box is NOT harmless and must not be

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:15 2004

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