Re: Barcode Redux

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 18:03:02 CDT

At 9:33 AM -0500 6/4/04, Jeff Almeida wrote:
>After wading through the sea of messages regarding barcodes in the last
>week, I've found myself inclined to agree with the people who think
>they're a bad idea, but for a slightly different reason: it's not that it
>may or may not admit confidence in what IS encoded (which I think you can
>reasonably dispell with disclaimers like the one proposed), it's about
>deniability of what IS NOT encoded....
>
>Put more bluntly, it is impossible for a warm, fuzzy biped to satisfy
>himself that a ballot containing a printed barcode DOES NOT contain any
>personally identifiable information on it; this could be a HUGE deal in,
>say, jurisdictions where voter registration is being accomplished by smart
>card. While some of us wear our politics on our sleeve (and shirt, and
>pockets, and websites, and so on), and don't particularly concern
>ourselves therefore with the privacy of our votes, there are a lot of
>people who vote in the face of political and/or social pressures otherwise
>for whom the thought of identifiability on a ballot could be a terrifying
>(think, for example, of domestic violence as a form of voter coercion)
>prospect.
>
>So, unless we can formulate some unresolvable use case that compels us to
>use the barcodes, I'd say we should dump them altogether in a bow to voter
>confidence -- which is, after all, the ultimate driving force for the
>project.

We don't have OCR working for reading ballots. So unless and until
we have OCR reliably working we need bar codes.

Best regards,
Arthur

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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:06 2004

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