Re: How dark is a mark?

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Wed Dec 19 2007 - 23:01:11 CST

Showing an image of the ballot proves nothing and is not an adequate
form of voter verification. Showing a summary screen is useful
however as a voter verification.

The scanner might provide auditory feedback about scans and their
status. The scanner might also require a button being pressed for
each ballot scanned, with the button being accessible to an election
official and not to any voter. Doug, would this fix the problems
you've identified?

Best regards,

At 3:50 PM -0500 12/19/07, Richard Carback wrote:
>Re. the security. I was told they were feeding it into the scanner in
>public, but the review would be private. I got the impression that you
>would scan, take your ballot into the review screen, press yes or no and
>then drop your ballot into a separate, public, ballot box. While I have
>my ideas about it, i'm not quite ready to pass judgment on the system's
>security... As you've said, it is not as thought through as you'd need
>to really evaluate it.
>The image might be useful because the voter could take the ballot and
>compare side by side -- some graphical highlighting of the choices would
>also be interesting to see. Also, an audio playback, too..
>Douglas W. Jones wrote:
>> On Dec 19, 2007, at 11:17 AM, Rick Carback wrote:
>>> Perhaps I have misheard, but isn't one of the ideas behind the
>>> scanner supposed to be that it present a screen showing what the
>>> scanner read on the ballot?
>> It's clear that scanners can auto-calibrate, recognizing background
>> illumination levels of the paper, recognizing unmarked voting
>> targets, and recognizing targets that are marked. This idea is an
>> old one that needs to be used more frequently.
>> But, scanners that present a screen showing what the scanner
>> read on the ballot, as I understand the idea, doesn't involve showing
>> an image of the ballot, but rather, a summary screen saying, perhaps,
>> "Fred Smith for President". This has generally been seen as
>> having the same value as the confirmation page in a DRE voting
>> dialogue. It may have some value, but it does not eliminate the need
>> to check or audit the scanning, since we know that only a minority
>> of voters will notice inaccuracies in the reading of their ballots.
>> And there is a problem. For security reasons, you want ballot
>> scanners to be out in the open, in plain sight of everyone. You
>> don't want the scanner in a booth where someone could feed multiple
>> ballots into it or tamper with the machine. This issue has not been
>> thought through, as nearly as I can tell.
>> Doug Jones
> >

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:07 2007

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