Re: tabulation

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Mon Feb 21 2005 - 19:11:34 CST

Hello Paul,


for starters. There is a lot of stuff in the wiki. IMHO I like Doug Jones
work althougth Keith Copenhagen's work can give you interesting insights.
There are various issues that occur to me:

1. Wholesale versus retail fraud.
2. What to focus on first.

Here's some additional information:

The current and generally most effective process is that those paper ballots
that are marked or printed out are ran throug an optical ballot scanner.
The optical scanner is a specialized optical scanner that has a row of LED's
and photo detectors. The machines automatically pull the document through
the reader and deliver the ballots into a sealed box for recount as needed.
The scanner readouts are translated into votes and written to a data chip.
OVC proposes using a 2-d bar code system but that's a whole another story.
The data chip is removable and is held in place mechanically and with a
tamper evident seal. Unless something unusual goes on, the chip is what
gets read into the tabulation system. Also, a paper tape is generated at
the beginning and end of the day.

Also, a reconciliation process similar to the daily sweep done between the
cash in a cash register and the paper tape totals from that register, has to
be done. In this case, the reconciliation has to occur between the number
of votes recorded on the chip and physical ballots sitting in the ballot
box. Also, don't forget reconciling provisional ballots, spoiled ballots
and absentee ballots turned in at the polling place.

Oh yes, all 50 states have a different approach, and within each state, each
county may vary from the state standard. Perhaps the scarest variations
occur at the 100's of polling places in each county. As poll workers
usually get zip training and are generally exhasted by the time canvassing
starts (a poll worker' s day start at 0600 and can easily go to 2100 and
beyond) they may blow off most of what they are suppose to do in canvassing
the vote so they can go home. Some states that use paper ballots have the
ballot taken to the County Registrar's office and machine counted there.
Some other states or counties actually count the ballots by hand.

As always, here's our most common comment:

" We've been working on this project for several years and we've discussed a
lot of stuff. If you can't find it here, you might try our searchable
correspondence site "

HTH, Ed Kennedy

Paul Kinzelman wrote:
> Forgive what might be a stupid question, I didn't see it addressed
> in the FAQs, but have you folks addressed issues about how
> to tabulate all the paper ballots printed out by the open source
> machines?
> And has anybody contacted the
> folks? What you're doing I think dovetails quite well with the
> issues they bring up.
> -Paul Kinzelman, Peralta, NM
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Received on Sun Feb 27 17:17:06 2005

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