Re: [EILeg] OVC-discuss Digest on "dumb scanners"

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Thu Dec 07 2006 - 13:14:52 CST

On Thu, 07 Dec 2006 00:26:15 -0800, Marc Baber wrote

Charlie, this is not a show stopper at all.
First, although I would propose that the ballots have serial numbers sovoters themselves could verify that their votes were recorded as theywere cast, the serial numbers are never recorded anywhere inassociation with the name or personally-identifying information of anindividual, so voter privacy is assured unless the voter him or herselfchooses to divulge the information.  My personal position is thatyou'll never really be able to guarantee people that their votes arerecorded as they were cast, until you give them a way to verify forthemselves, individually, that their own votes were, in fact, recordedand counted as they were cast.  And, to me, that means providing a wayto check and verify their vote after it has been cast and counted.

This is indeed a show-stopper. It allows wholesale vote buying and coercion. Why? Since the buyer or coercer never need touch a ballot, she can operate remotely -- possibly even from another country. This allows her to play many elections with little effort. This situation is far worse than with, for example, absentee ballots or all-mail elections, where the buyer or coercer still needs to obtain ballots one at a time.

In Oregon, we've used vote by mail for about 6-7 years now and therehave been zero reported instances of coercion or vote-buying, accordingto our Secretary of State, even though voters have a two-week windowbetween the time they receive their ballots at home and when theballots must be returned to the Elections Division by mail or atdrop-off locations.  This is essentially the same as every absenteevoting system in the country.

See above.

Although vote-buying is the most commonly raised objection to the planI've proposed, there is no evidence that it happens in significantnumbers at all.  It is, essentially, a non-existent problem like voterfraud.

Existing voting procedures -- even absentee ballots and all-mail elections -- still require the buyer or coercer to handle ballots one at a time. Your approach lets them verify voters' compliance without ever touching a ballot, and without even being present in the affected jurisdictions or subject to their statutes. Your argument is like saying that, since we have acceptable burglary level L with current residential lock technology, we should feel comfortable removing all our locks.


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Received on Sun Dec 31 23:17:08 2006

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