Re: 7000 Orange County voters given bad ballots

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Wed Mar 10 2004 - 15:09:12 CST

RE: [voting-project] 7000 Orange County voters given bad ballotsLaird,

> That being said, I don't think that this article showed any
> particular flaw of the eVoting system used -- any similar
> system would have to have registrars set up the equipment
> properly. Given that registrars will always be underpaid,
> well-meaning volunteers with insufficient training, this article
> tells me that we need to be careful to address the human
> issues, and it's not clear to me how to avoid this issue. Am
> I missing something?

Yes, I think you are missing something. I gave part of the answer, imho, in
a follow up response. I said,

One other thing about this article. I have to disagree with what my friend
Henry Brady said here:

> "This is a procedures problem more than anything else.
> It's not a problem with a new kind of voting system,"
> said Brady, the UC Berkeley voting systems expert.
I think (and I believe Roy Saltman would agree) that the procedures are part
of the voting system.
To support my claim regarding what Saltman would say, try this page,

where you can find in the first paragraph, "The voting process as a human
system involving people, procedures and activities as well as machines is

The complete answer will only be seen when we conduct our full scale
scientific study of the voting system, which will include Human Factors
testing covering all aspects of election administration. The draft/template
of our HAVA proposal to be done in all the states explicitly mentions Human
Factors testing to include pollworker instructions and training. Our
recently submitted National Science Foundation proposal discusses Human
Factors quite a bit.

A comprehensive scientific study of the whole voting system has never been
done. Luckily, it appears that this is about to change.

Alan D.
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:04 2004

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