Re: [OVC-discuss] draft of text for new OVC-sponsored bill

From: Jim March <1_dot_jim_dot_march_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Jan 24 2009 - 15:17:36 CST

>> Under the current proposal, very few people are going to review the
>> paper output showing their votes, esp. for down-ticket races.
>
> This has never been tested, and I very much doubt that it will turn
> out to be true. It is true that not many people check the tiny and
> inconvenient tape rolls on current machines, but that says nothing
> about the OVC design.

>>So, voters are bad at proof-reading their own hand-filled ballots, but you "very much doubt" that they'll be bad at proof-reading OVC printed ballots? Hmm. Also, this lacks any acknowledgement that (except for accidents) a hand-filled ballot by definition reflects the voter's will, while a machine-printed ballot can, for many reasons I've described on this list, reflect someone else's will.<<

To put it another way: if a voter takes a "fill in the bubble" or
similar sheet of paper and marks it, it's not critical that they ever
re-read and proof it. They made their marks and it's now 100%
impossible that something or somebody else manipulated those marks
before it gets to the ballot box.

Sure, some people may screw up here and there, but not that often and
not in a "partisan trend" that could flip an election (well, barring
really bad ballot layout of course).

In the OVC current model, it's possible that the voter could vote one
way and the machine prints a subset of the votes another way, and the
low rate of proofing (as in, most people won't even bother trying
never mind do it successfully) means it either won't be caught, or the
isolated reports of it happening will be dismissed (as happens all the
time now with DREs).

Remember, you can't take a camera into a polling place in most areas,
for several very good reasons, but this makes it difficult for a voter
to document tech glitches and prove them after the fact.

Conclusion: the fact that people either can't or won't proof their own
hand-marked ballot is nowhere near as big a problem as an inability to
proof a machine-generated paper ballot.

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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:50 2010

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