Re: write-ins by anarchists

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Tue Jan 27 2009 - 13:38:45 CST

An anarchist could certainly still scribble lizard people on the
Dechert-style ballot before placing it in the privacy sleeve and
sliding it into the ballot box or precinct-count optical scanner. As
long as they didn't wrote over the barcode or the selections, the
scanner might not care. But the ballot might be voided upon recount
depending on the rules of stray marks and the rules on ballot

With respect problems with counting hand-marked paper ballots via
optical scan (i.e., mark sense), please see

Best regards,

At 1:49 PM -0500 1/27/09, David Mertz wrote:
>I think there is a mixed story here on write-ins.
>I would personally prefer that election laws/regulations allowed
>counting every write-in vote, without restriction to "registered"
>candidates. That's my own political opinion though, jurisdictions
>need to make this decision, not me. Certainly, however, it should not
>be a restriction of OVC systems to disallow this at a technical level.
>However, in jurisdictions where only pre-determined candidates are
>even counted as write-ins, there's really no "anarchist" purpose
>served by enabling voters to cast uncounted votes. As someone else
>commented, a "protest" vote stuck on a local bulletin board means more
>than an unrecorded write-in. For those cases, voters should best be
>shown a list of candidates whose vote will at least be counted.
>There's no reason this difference need be "deep" though. Software
>could easily have a binary switch for "allow free-form write-ins".
>For jurisdictions that at least count that, enable the switch;
>otherwise, show voters what votes might actually count.

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:53 2010

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