Ballots, limits of security and printers

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Sun Jun 06 2004 - 14:11:34 CDT

Hello All:

    I have been scrambling to catch up with the conversation and only now (when I really should be mowing the lawn) have I caught up. I did a quick Google on bar codes and stumbled across this on the first Google page.

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[After an adequate discussion of bar codes with an emphasis on the UPC this pops up]

Is the number 666 "hidden" in the UPC barcode?

One of the most popular and shocking accusations concerning the number "666" is that the number "666" is quietly "hidden" in every UPC barcode. Mary Stewart Relfe's book, "The New Money System 666", published in 1982, is the "pioneer" of the "666 in the UPC barcode" teaching. Relfe's book contains over 50 pages of excellent documentation on the UPC barcodes. Relfe's discovery is repeated in many publications touching the mark of the beast, within the last fifteen years. Including tracts published by this author.

[more at] <http://www.av1611.org/666/barcode.html>

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Anyway, it isn't just the black helicopter crowd that has this issue, it's also a fundamentalist folk myth as well.

    One solution that has not yet been presented as to the bar code issue is to make it part of a tear off voter's receipt. This would require at least pre perforated ballot stock but may make the OCR/bar code issue a little easier to deal with. Yes, the perforations may make it a little more difficult to run through a sheet feeder. I guess that would have to be a product acceptance issue.

    Another thought about bar code reliability versus OCR is along the lines of how I design roads. Effectively, roads cannot be perfect or even very good for all drivers. It is impossible to design a road way that is safe for all anymore than it is possible to design a structure that will accept all loads. It is also a ineffective use of society's resources to design roads for the drunk, disorderly or insane. Therefore, as a profession and as agreed to by the legislature, we design roads that are very safe for at least 85% of drivers. It is our hope that as we go to the extremes of driver and vehicle behavior that our safe for the 85% approach will at least diminish the severity of what happens to say another 10% of drivers covering 95% of all dirvers. We effectively wash our hands of the fringe in the remaining 5% and hope they survive the experience. Similarly, a percentage of satisfaction or confidence may need to be established for the security of voting systems. As you have collectively indicated, it is impossible to have a 100% secure voting system. However, is it reasonable and cost effective to have a 95% to 99% secure system? Are there mandated standards by the various election authorities? If so, what is the highest reasonable standard?

    I hear everyone's reasonable concern about the difficulties in reading OCR versus bar codes. However, with electronic ballot images, on two different formats isn't that enough backup? Also, is it feasible and reasonable for these electronic images to be sent through an OCR process for reconciling questionable paper ballots?

    I've been looking into printers for a special application but have also been keeping OVC in mind. So far, I have not discovered a laser printer that doesn't require paper to travel through a 180 degree or U shaped path. I have found two vendors that manufacturer ink jet printers that send the paper through only a 45 degree path. The vendors are Epson and Lexmark (For those of you that say Dell should be included, their printers bear an unusual resemblance to Lexmark printers.). .

Thanks, Ed Kennedy
    

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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:09 2004

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