Re: How dark is a mark?

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Thu Dec 20 2007 - 06:57:18 CST

On Dec 19, 2007, at 11:41 PM, Rick Carback wrote:

> I don't think you understood what showing the image means. You
> aren't simply showing the scan, but an interpreted representation
> of it.

It might make good sense to actually show a scanned image of the
voter's real ballot -- so the voter sees his or her own handwriting
in the write-in slots, for example. However, the scanner needs to
show its interpretation of the ballot as well, perhaps with pseudo
red-pen circles around targets it interprets as voted, question
marks by targets it is unsure of (kick back the ballot, inviting
the voter to darken those if they were supposed to be votes), and
similarly explanatory annotations for any overvotes detected.

> You might be able to jam multiple printed ballots into the scanner
> at the same time (the voter still has private physical access).

Most current precinct count scanners defend against this by measuring
the paper thickness of the ballots they scan -- for example, by shining
light through the ballot and seeing how much it is attenuated. We
know how to defend against this approach to cheating.

                Doug Jones
                jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:07 2007

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