Re: Understanding difference between TLV, EML, VVPB and what the vendors want to flog as VVPAT

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Fri Jul 01 2005 - 20:39:46 CDT

David Webber (XML) wrote:

>Just for Bev Harris and her staffs FYI - paper only is a dog
>that will not hunt - simply because HAVA mandates (its the
>law) that you provide computer assisted voting - and so
>manual-only systems technically *must* be replaced.

First, a state needs to be HAVA-compliant -=in order to get the HAVA
money=-. If they turn down the Federal money, they can do any damn
thing they want. HAVA has no hard requirements, only cash incentives.
If we can prove that the systems being pushed through HAVA now came from
absolutely diseased oversight processes and were developed by absolute
sickos, you can bet people are going to start rethinking how bad they
need that Fed money.

(Look, this sort of thing is common. There is no Federal law saying
states have to enact seatbelt laws. But they do if they want to get
"extra" Federal transportation dollars. HAVA is the same concept...NOT
a mandate. The difference is that wearing seatbelts isn't a cancer on
our Democracy or anything else; Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and the like are
huge malignant tumors and as that gets obvious...hey, maybe Bev isn't
just a nut after all...)

Second, HAVA covers some of the INITIAL expenses but not the long-term
operating expenses and more than a few agencies (and even states) are
quietly pondering the real costs beyond the Federal "seed money".

Third, HAVA mandates accessability - NOT computers per se. There's one
school of thought that says you can do an audio track and tactile ballot
for a hand-marked paper ballot, as with the Rhode Island system
involving raised bumps made out of five cents worth of glue on a piece
of cardboard with matching audio track.

Finally, even if you do use computers for accessibility (printing out a
paper trail via touchscreen, sip/puff, audio etc. like the Accupoll or
the original OVC terminal concept) HAVA doesn't say anything at ALL
about tabulation.

Now I'm not necessarily saying open-source tabulation is a bad thing,
not at all. But Bev's position isn't as contrary to law as you've made
it out to be.

>They had better figure out what type of system they would
>rather see. Alot of the TrueVoteXX folks are betting on
>scanned paper ballot machines. That's not a bad first
>option. As the matrix in the TLV slides shows however,
>standalone scanned paper (as our friends at Diebold show
>with their system) has lots of scary problems too.

Yup. But...part of what Bev is saying is that if we paid as much effort
to developing a strong hand-count process as we are electronic
processes, we might find it's not as impractical as it seems. Issues of
manpower, distributed task processing and accountability all have to be
solved, and she realizes that as much as anyone.

Again: I don't know if she's right. I don't know if OVC is right. I
want to see both develop and see where they go.

I do know for damnsure that *nobody* is as effective at ripping into the
current state of affairs as Bev and we all agree that needs to be done!

>But I'm seeing that if people go to scanned ballots for 2006,
>I'd rather that than standalone DRE, or DRE with VVPAT.

THAT we agree on 100%.

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Received on Sun Jul 31 23:17:11 2005

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