RE: Barcode Redux

From: John Payson <jpayson_at_circad_dot_com>
Date: Thu Jun 10 2004 - 18:20:57 CDT

>>
The current plan is to allow the voter to scan the ballot using the
"BVA" but the ballot is not otherwise scanned until poll closing.
<<

If nothing is done to make sure that what the voters put in the ballot box are
actually valid ballots, how can election integrity be assured? Suppose that
when ballots are counted after 2,000 people are supposed to have voted, there
are found to be 995 valid ballots for candidate #1, 990 for candidate #2, and
15 spoiled ballots. Does this mean that some malefactor voided 15 ballots
(perhaps votes for candidate #2)? Or does it mean that 15 voters decided to be
"cute" or stupid? Is there any means by which anyone can ever tell?

One key to having a secure election is ensuring that any alteration of ballots
will produce essentially-undeniable proof of fraud on the part of the election
officials. If the appearance of spoiled ballots within the ballot stream does
not constitute evidence of fraud, what means would exist to prevent a
malefactor from selectively-voiding votes for non-preferred candidates?

A major key to election security is thus to have something keep physical
control of the ballots after the last time they're confirmed as being good.
This could be done either by having a scanner with a capture assembly, or by
having a printer with a capture/reject assembly (machine prints ballot, shows
it in window, and then, based upon the lever a person pushes, either marks it
spoiled and sends it to a reject bin, or else sends it to the valid-ballots
bin).
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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:12 2004

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