Re: Questions from election officials

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 21:01:00 CDT

On May 3, 2004, at 5:35 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:

> Also--if I'm not mistaken--the Avante system does not mark spoiled
> ballots. I don't know how it's supposed to work. Spoiled ballots go
> through another path to their own receptacle?

It's up to the state. In some states, the ballot is really
just a contemporaneous paper record or CPR, with no voter
verification. This satisfies Illinois law. If you like what
you see, fine, that's how you voted. If you don't like what
you see, fine, go scream to the press, because that's how you
voted.

I believe that's still better than DRE, because if the system
starts cheating on people, some of them will find out and
scream, and in the long run, such complaints are likely to
do real damage to the vendor and county, thus reducing sales,
but it's not voter verified.

If the state wants, they can allow the voter to spoil the ballot.
Avante, as of the last time I checked, the Avante machine held
the ballot by one end after it had been cut from the roll of
adding machine tape. If the voter accepted the ballot, it
sucked the ballot back in. If the state demanded that the voter
be able to reject the ballot, they said it would be easy to add
a bit of code so the machine would drop the ballot on the floor.
The plastic cover was long enough that this was literally where
it would fall.

This was on their first model, the one that looked like it was
designed by the Soviet School of Industrial Design. The new model
was more compact and prettier, but they said it ran the same
software, so I assume the same options were available.

                        Doug Jones
                        jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:07 2004

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