Re: Draft Standards for VVPAT in California

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Sun Mar 21 2004 - 22:56:24 CST

On Mar 21, 2004, at 10:07 PM, David Mertz wrote:

> Looking over the draft, I have an hypothesis about this misguided idea
> about voters not touching the ballot. I think those who come up with
> these schemes are concerned about ballot stuffing with forged ballots.
> They hope to prevent stuffing by preventing physical access to the
> ballot box.

Perhaps, but I'm told that someone in the California Secretary of
office has assured "us" (dunno who) that this standard is intended only
for DRE systems fitted with a voter-verified paper trail, and that it
does not apply to "ballot marking devices" such as the Vogue system.
I believe that the OVC demo system counts as a ballot marking device,
and therefore, ought to fall into the same category.

Nothing is guaranteed here.

My own impression is that something like half of the proposed California
rules follow directly from the Sequoia proposal for how they want to
do their retrofit VVPT system. I've seen their proposal, on paper,
held in the hands of one of their engineers who wanted my opinion.
What I told him was, it seemed awfully complicated and expensive,
and not only that, it seemed that most voters wouldn't bother to
verify -- which made the thing self-defeating, and worse yet, the
machine actually knew which voters had requested to see their paper
ballot, so if someone dishonest was involved, the machine had enough
information to know when to cheat and when not to.

So, one missing component of the standard is this: The machine must
not in any way be allowed to learn, before printing a ballot, whether
a voter intends to verify that record or not. The printing of the
paper record must not depend on the answer to a question such as
"do you wish to verify the paper record of your vote?" Rather, the
paper record must be printed immediately after the voter indicates that
the voter has completed making his or her selections.

                        Doug Jones
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:08 2004

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