Re: Fwd: Radio programme on e-voting in Oz

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Sat Jul 24 2004 - 13:56:15 CDT

Arthur,

> So besides Alan's (rare) case of people walking off with ballots, ...
>
Actually, Karl and Doug have mentioned this more than I have--which brings
up another point.

There exists a certain (minimal, we hope) competency barrier for voting.
This point was made in the Supreme Court decision in 2000, although I
believe it was misapplied.

For example, consider a bed ridden person with Altzheimers and other
ailments such that he or she is unable to do or understand much of anything.
We are not going to make a voting system that will enable this person to
vote.

It's hard to describe exactly the minimum level of competency that one must
have in order to vote, but generally speaking, the voter must have some
comprehension of the process, and have an ability to understand the choices,
and some ability to indicate preferences and understand how to cast the
ballot once finished.

This competency barrier can never be removed entirely. While it's hard to
precisely describe the barrier, it's important to understand that it exists.
There are two important things to keep in mind about this barrier:

1) It should be minimized as much as possible.

2) It should be the same everywhere.

On the first point, ideally, it will be minimized to a point where voters
filter themselves out of the process. The totally incompetent person will
not vote because he or she doesn't know anything about the election. The
system doesn't need to declare this person unable to vote.

On the second point, the voting system is unfair if a person can vote given
the system in one county, but can't vote given the system in another county.
Where you live should not be a factor in whether or not you can vote. This
is why we should work to achieve a UNIFORM system.

Alan D.
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Received on Sat Jul 31 23:17:03 2004

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