Re: Walking away with the paper ballot.

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Thu Dec 16 2004 - 12:21:35 CST

On Dec 16, 2004, at 12:52 PM, Joseph Lorenzo Hall wrote:
> And should the converse be true as well? That is, if there is a paper
> ballot (or a number of them) without any digital record (we'd notice
> during BRP[1]), the presumption should be that the paper ballots are
> invalid?

Paper ballots should contain precinct-specific cryptographic
signatures. We had some past discussion of exactly how this would be
done--per ballot watermark, extra code numbers, etc. Whatever the
details, paper ballots should "vouch" for their own authenticity. A
first level of voucher might be the use of special stock that can be
visually identified. That allows fairly casual detection of stuffed
ballots. A second level involves doing fancy math with cryptographic
hashes, secret keys, and the like. The second is essentially
*unforgeable*.

So if a matching digital record is missing, it heightens scrutiny, but
exactly what "counts" can go several ways.

If some paper ballots can be examined more carefully, and be shown to
be fraudulent, they should certainly be discarded. OTOH, if a damage
to digital records can be identified, but all paper ballots are
properly signed, count the paper. In fact, if the paper is signed
correctly (cryptographically, not as in hand signed), it should count
even if the cause of missing digital records cannot be specifically
identified.

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:16 2004

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