Re: A new idea for a Electronic Ballot Printer

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Jul 06 2007 - 13:47:28 CDT

> The OVS ballot writer could handle a single ballot sheet that, after
> the front were printed, was fed back into the printer for a second
> pass to print the back. ....

> This is tricky for the voter to execute, but it could be done.
I think "tricky for the voter" is the same as saying it cannot be done.

If you are going to print a completed ballot that looks the same as a hand
marked ballot would look, there is no way around it: you're going to have
multiple pages in most cases. With long ballots and multiple languages, you
could easily be talking about four or five pages. Shuffling through all
that paper in audits and recounts is not attractive.

While there are some good arguments for doing it the way Arthur suggests,
there are major drawbacks as well. Keep in mind that one of the great
attractions of DREs in the first place was that election officials wouldn't
have to deal with so much paper. For example, if using a summary paper
ballot, it's reasonable to expect that each ballot printer would have to
print no more than about 100 pages on Election Day -- that's not much ink
and almost any printer can hold that much paper so no refills should be
required. If we're talking about several hundred pages per ballot printer,
then you have more issues with printers, paper, ink ... more potential for
jams (what if there's a 4-page ballot and the first 3 print fine but page 4
jams?). There are also serious usability issues with the printer speed.
Voters are barely going to have patience to wait for the one page to print.
Almost certainly (as Karl convinced us), these will be ink jet printers --
not very fast.

Like a lot of things, human trials are needed. This is where the money
should be spent. Maybe ACCURATE could put some resources on it.

Alan D.

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Received on Tue Jul 31 23:17:03 2007

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