Re: A generic best practice document for NewMexicolegislators

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Dec 28 2004 - 15:09:39 CST

> charlie strauss said:
>> Doug jones has reccomended that neither paper nor electroninc
>> voteshave
>> primacy in an dispute. Iinstead he reccomends that someone decides
>> which is most likely to reconstruct the correct record as best as
>> possible. I agree though it does not simplify the process.

Dec 28, 2004, at 4:51 PM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
> I agree with you and Doug because logic and common sense needs to be
> applied in any situation.
> Look at Florida 2000 for instance where ballot spoilage was huge in
> many
> opscan precincts. It may easily happen (and "has" happened in
> America's
> history) that unethical persons may once in a while manage to throw
> away
> or despoil permanent paper records.

I'll chime in (again) with the same sentiment. I understand Theresa's
concern--all things being equal, I'd prefer to look at the paper too.
Even to the point of saying there's a "strong preference" towards
basing the canvass on the paper ballots.

But in exceptional circumstances, the paper can also clearly go wrong.
Kathy mentions the destruction of paper ballots. I'd also urge readers
to think about the other direction: paper ballots can be forged and
stuffed into ballot boxes. I've mentioned from time to time--as have
others--that we can take measures to prevent ballot forgery. These
measures can be both physical features like special stock and
watermarks, and also cryptographic features like digital signatures on
authentic ballots.

Clearly false ballots should not be counted just because they are
printed on paper. It may well be possible to identify false ballots
based only on what's the paper. But at times, the electronic records
will be relevant to establishing forgery of paper ballots; there's
definitely no reason to rule out such a use of electronic records a
priori--in fact, doing so is foolish. In fact, the digital signatures
paper ballots should contain inherently need to be checked with the aid
of electronic information (not the EBIs per se, however).

The right thing in a given dispute will always depend on context and
specific forensic results. Yeah, start with the paper and presume its
priority... but don't stop analysis as soon as you get to that point;
not if doing other things can reveal and correct improprieties.

Yours, David...

Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food
from the bellies of the hungry; books from the hands of the
uneducated; technology from the underdeveloped; and putting
advocates of freedom in prisons.  Intellectual property is
to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.
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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:21 2004

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