Re: Executive Summary of Proposal to CaliforniaSecretary of State

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Fri Jun 10 2005 - 23:13:45 CDT

This is perhaps more important than made out. One of the problems
with current optical scan systems is that in some states, like NM,
you cannot erase the memory banks of the machine after it has been
used in an election until the election is certified--sometimes not
even then as happened in NM when there was a pending lawsuit. This
causes all kinds of problems. For example, how do you recount? you
cant simply use the same machine to recount since that would require
erasing the machines memory. The following obvious solutions to this
have been deemed unacceptable 1) have alternate memory banks for
recounts 2) simply recount on the same machine and divide the numbers
by two 3) write down the results and zero out the machine. While I
think any of those ought to do, it just has been a non-starter to get
people to consider them.

So the only solution is to have another machine to check the results
on. And as long as youre doing that you might as well make it a more
sophistcated one that could in principle separetely count multiple
precints and so on.

This last thing I allude to is the other heinous problem with optical
scan. Many current machine give total ballots and total votes per
race but cannot break down totals by precint. This is not a problem
during precint voting, but is a serious problem for absentee and
early voting where multiple legislative districts vote on a single

Thus replacing the absentee and early voting machine, which a fewer
in number, with more sophisticated machines would be the first place
to start. Additional units could be used for recounts.

On Jun 10, 2005, at 12:34 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:

> Joe,
> Yes, I believe this is the right way to look at it. UCTS would be
> basically an audit tool for jurisdictions that use precinct based
> optical scanners. Some, however, optical scan jurisdictions do not
> do precinct level scanning. Any guess what percentage? Perhaps
> none in CA -- I don't really know. In other states, this is
> certainly different. Oregon, for example, would not be doing
> precinct level scanning so UCTS could be a replacement for blackbox
> scanners there.
> Alan D.
>> This may not be germaine, but might UCTS also be attractive to some
>> jurisdictions as a redundant tabulation or auditing mechanism? That
>> is, in addition to buying equipment from the vendor, might it not
>> make
>> sense for some jurisdictions to have multiple independent tabulators
>> and see if they come up with the same results? (of course, only a
>> subset would be audited with UCTS or you'd be counting twice... which
>> I like but eleciton officials wont).
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Received on Thu Jun 30 23:17:06 2005

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