Re: A question about how votes are cast (protecting against multiplesheets of paper)

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Mon Jan 19 2004 - 09:35:57 CST

On Jan 19, 2004, at 1:13 AM, Alan Dechert wrote:

> Karl,
>>
>> I'm working on some text for the proposed faq and I was thinking
>> about the
>> act of casting the ballot and the thought occurred to me - Gee, what
>> if
>> the voter prints several ballots and shoves them all into the ballot
>> folder?
>>
> This is a key issue. Generally speaking, in order for the voting
> system to
> work, procedures have to be followed by people.

But, we could provide technical means to assist the people. For
example, we could rig the machine so it will only print one
ballot, and then require re-enabling to print another. Clearly,
this is an optional procedure. In this procedure:

The voter requests to cast a vote. A pollworker enables the
machine to print one ballot. The voter uses the machine. If
the ballot printed by the machine is satisfactory, the voter
deposits it in the ballot box. If not, the voter presents
the ticket (a spoiled ballot) to the pollworker, the pollworker
puts it in the spoiled ballot envelope and re-enables the machine
to allow the voter to try again.

The above model is mandated by state law in some jurisdictions,
so really, we have to be prepared to support it.

(And, counting the spoiled ballots is a strong tool, vastly
underutilized, for measuring the problems with an election system.
I've always wanted to see a count of spoiled ballots brought
forward in the canvassing process so you can compare rates of
spoilage from one election to another in order to monitor the
rate of voter confusion.)

                        Doug Jones
                        jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Mon Jan 10 00:48:11 2005

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