Re: Precinct Scanner vs Central Scanner

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Thu Dec 20 2007 - 07:13:59 CST

On Dec 20, 2007, at 3:04 AM, Danny Swarzman wrote:

> Should a precinct scanner and a central scanner use the same criteria
> for recognizing marks?

Yes. You want to be able to recount ballots on any available
scanner that is compatable with the same ballot format and have
the count come out the same.

The difference with central count is that the voter isn't there
to handle badly marked ballots. So, the best you can do is kick
back the ballot and hand it to the canvassing board for
interpretation.

Some new central count systems don't kick back the ballot, instead,
they present an image of the ballot to the canvassing board on a
video screen, allowing the ajudication to be done hands-off. This
has potential advantages, but only if:

1) The original ballot can be inspected to compare it to the image
   and verify that the image has not been altered. This is something
   you want to do with a sample of ballots as part of the audit
   process.

That requirement says: As you scan the ballot, print a number on
it that allows you to relate it to the scanned ballot image. In a
central count setting, it's not hard to keep this number from being
used to relate the ballot to the voter.

2) Save the ajudication result as an annotation with the image, so
   you know how many votes were the result of machine scanning and
   how many were the result of human interpretation.

Audits should review a random sample of the ajudicated ballots to
verify that the board is behaving itself.

Nobody has put enough effort into the question of how to audit
central-count and absentee ballots.

                Doug Jones
                jones@cs.uiowa.edu

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Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:07 2007

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