RE: Barcode Redux

From: John Payson <jpayson_at_circad_dot_com>
Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 17:27:11 CDT

>>
non-contact or accurate paper handleing or alignment required (no paper jams!)
In theory easily validated by external auditors. ballot can be kept in a
privacy envelop if need be yet have bar code accessbile.
<<

One issue people seem to miss is that, to prevent mischief, a scanner should
examine ballots before acceptance to confirm there are no inappropriate marks
anywhere on the ballot. If the device that accepts ballots will reject any
that contain inappropriate marks, then the existence of such marks on a ballot
which had previously been accepted should probably not disqualify the ballot
(since the marks were most likely added after the ballot was cast). If no such
validation is done before accepting ballots, then ballots must either be
accepted even if they contain illegitimate marks (which opens a path for voters
to show how they voted) or rejected (in which case it becomes easy for an evil
person to disqualify ballots).

To ensure election integrity, systems must be in place to ensure that fishy
ballots cannot get into the ballot box. Otherwise it will either be trivial
for anyone to cast doubt on the election, or it will be trivial to cheat (by
doing things which should cast doubt on the election except that they could be
done by pranksters as well as cheaters).

I personally would favor using what I'd call "big-dot" codes to encode votes.
Just have areas on the form which will be black if a particular candidate is
selected, or blank if not, much as would be the case on "optical scan" ballots.
Such an approach would have the advantage that the actual marking of candidate
selections could be done by the voters if desired, with a scanner/printer just
filling in some validation information.
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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:06 2004

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