Re: An attempt to sneak Internet voting in via the back door?

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Fri Jun 19 2009 - 00:29:00 CDT

At 3:41 PM -0700 6/18/09, Edward Cherlin wrote:
>On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:02 AM, Arthur Keller <> wrote:
>> I think Military Voting USING the Internet is a great idea. But
>>I'm opposed to Military Voting VIA the Internet. What's
>>difference, you say? I think it is reasonable for a military,
>>overseas, or other remote voter to go to an Internet website, type
>>in information about the jurisdiction of the voter, be shown a
>>ballot where the voter enters his/her selections. The system would
>>download a PDF file, which would be printed, sealed in an a
>>"universal vote-by-mail envelope," where the appropriate
>>affirmations and identification and voter's signature was affixed,
>That's one option. What's the difference? Why not allow military
>ballots to be printed in the US, by the military at a military
>facility, with secure data transmission via MILNET? This does not have
>any of the security issues of voting over the open Internet.

Because your approach does not have the voter's signature on the
outside of the ballot, that's why. My approach does, and that makes
all the difference. The voter seals the ballot in the envelope with
a signature, and no one sees it until it arrives at County Central,
where officials determine whether to count it before they open the
ballot envelope.

>If your option were to be used, I would like to see the information
>printed on the envelope at the time of voting, all except the
>signatures. I would like the military to be required to get and verify
>the signatures, and not permit invalid envelopes to go through.

The signatures are supposed to match the registration form, to which
it is unreasonable for military officials to have access. You must
not take acceptance of the ballot away from the local election
officials for any group of voters, however worthy.

> > and then the ballot and envelope could be mailed or otherwise
>delivered to the local jurisdiction for counting. The ballot would
>be handled the way provisional ballots are handled, safely and
>It is widely known that mail services in some countries where the
>military is deployed are utterly unreliable. If you mean using
>military mail, maybe.

> > These universal vote-by-mail envelopes would be widely available,
>and the voter would write the jurisdiction's address on the
>envelope, and the website that chooses the correct jurisdiction's
>ballot could give the address information to the voter.
>Please print the information on the envelope. Anything to reduce human
>error in voting is a plus. Currently about half of military absentee
>ballots are reportedly rejected.

That could be done but it not required. Not everyone has a printer
with the capability of printing envelopes. Besides the online vote
printer shouldn't know the identity of the voter either, but merely
the voter's jurisdiction, for voter privacy.

> > Military bases and US embassies could accept ballots up to the
>time the *first* polling places close in the US, and the ballots
>could be considered on time even if received at the local
>jurisdiction later (but within, say, 7 days of the election). These
>acceptance locations might or might not be required to check ID.
>Why not?

Because the ballots could be mailed to County Central by depositing
it in mailbox and having the identity checked.

> > In any event, it is the local jurisdiction that verifies the
>voters identity including signature.
>> Best regards,
> > Arthur

Best regards,

Experienced advisor to leading edge startups and
accomplished expert witness on patent infringement cases.
Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
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Received on Tue Jun 30 23:17:04 2009

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