Re: draft of text for new OVC-sponsored bill

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 13:15:10 CST
Edward Cherlin wrote:
On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:57 PM, Ronald Crane <> wrote:
Edward Cherlin wrote:

On Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 6:24 PM, Ronald Crane <> wrote:

[sigh] I guess I have to break my own rule.

Ron, you are straining at gnats while swallowing camels (in
particular, in your other recent posts, the notions that hand-marked
paper ballots can be made secure, or are in any way preferable to
machine-marked ballots). We have evidently failed to communicate
something essential to you, but I can't imagine where the gap lies.

Thank you for the calumny on hand-marked paper ballots. I am sure it will
enlighten all who listen. Also, I appreciate the personal insult; I was
feeling too happy.

Fine, then. You're killfiled.

Critical review -- though often difficult to hear -- is high-octane fuel for the engine of improvement. OVC's focus on ballot printers for all voters oversells their benefits and understates their security risks, especially versus hand-filled, machine-tabulated paper ballot systems. It also distracts from the benefits that OVC-style tabulators (and potentially OVC-style ballot printers for the disabled) could offer. There has been something of a wave of "open source == secure" rhetoric in the air, and OVC has ridden it, even though the argument's applicability to voting systems is significantly reduced by their special characteristics. Still, OVC's push to open voting systems to public scrutiny is a good one, and could lead to not only equipment improvements, but also process improvements. Some I'd like to see are statistically-justified hand audits of tabulators' counts; the posting of totals outside each precinct; citizen supervision of ballot chains of custody; and more effective equipment certification.


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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:55 2010

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