Hand-marked ballots [Re: OVC-discuss Digest, Vol 28, Issue 26]

From: Hamilton Richards <hrichrds_at_swbell_dot_net>
Date: Thu Feb 15 2007 - 09:30:06 CST

Having voters mark their ballots by hand is no panacea. For a
comprehensive catalog of all the ways in which hand-marked ballots
can be altered or invalidated (or both) by crooked election
officials, see [1]. The basis for most of these attacks is the
discretion afforded election judges in inferring the voter's intent
from the marked ballot (optical scanning helps, but judges are still
called upon to evaluate ballots rejected by the scanner). Most of
these attacks are foiled by having marked ballots printed by machine.

Additional benefits of machine-printed ballots are the elimination of
the need to print ballots with many different sets of races and
questions, in many different languages, and to store them and
distribute them securely.

Perhaps it should be called the VVMPPB (Voter-Verified Machine
Printed Paper Ballot).

--Ham Richards

1. <http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/voting/paper.html>, in particular
the sections under the headings "The Election Judges" and "Rules
Governing Ballot Interpretation".

At 2:30 PM -0800 2007/2/14, ovc-discuss-request@listman.sonic.net wrote:
>Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 14:13:58 -0800 (PST)
>From: "Richard C. Johnson" <dick@iwwco.com>
>Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Paperless voting Re: OVC-discuss Digest,
> Vol 28, Issue 25
>To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
>Message-ID: <707391.32917.qm@web405.biz.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>VVPB is simply a paper ballot, the official ballot in an election.
>At a minimum, there will be handicapped voters using touch screens
>to generate ballots, which will then be fed through precinct
>scanners. Precinct scanners are by far the most popular means of
>voting in the US and, except for handicapped voters, all ballots
>will be marked by the voter's own hand. Using ballot markers for
>non-handicapped voters is expensive, redundant, and rare. I agree
>with Phil that in almost all instances the ballot should be marked
>directly by the voter.

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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:18 2007

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