Re: What is voter anonymity?

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed May 05 2004 - 14:52:10 CDT

Hello David:

     Hum-mm. Such voter preference correlations are
usually derived from exit polls done by private
interests such as newspapers. While I'm sure some
political operators or political science types would
like to know, I think the data provided by the press
is usually adequate. As it is, elections are already
too much poll driven IMHO. Therefore I cannot see any
pressing need for such information. As it has not
been collected previously, I cannot see why it should
be collected in the future. Again, my understanding
of the OVC is that it is here to fix a major part of
the voting process that is broken and needs to stay
clearly focused on that. Of course that could just be
my Californian attitude showing. ;-)

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

--- David Mertz <voting-project@gnosis.cx> wrote:
> I've been thinking some more about voter anonymity.
> This seems to be
> my own bette noir, but I think it's good someone is
> paranoid about it.
>
> There's an issue that was raised recently by John
> Payson, and had come
> up in slightly different forms before. His idea was
> to assign separate
> IDs to different contests within an election, then
> disclose per-contest
> EBIs.
>
> Here's the related question:
>
> Does revealing voting patterns between contests
> inherently compromise
> anonymity?
>
> Even absent identifying specific named voters, it
> might be reasonable
> to argue that a voting preference is "private" even
> if not associated
> with a person. Similar issues, FWIW, come up with
> disclosure of
> redacted medical information (a recent case
> concerned late-term
> abortion medical records subpoenaed by the Justice
> Department; and
> wisely kept confidential by appellate courts).
>
> For example (to put it so Californians understand it
> :-)): Does the
> public have a right to know how strong the
> correlation was between
> votes for Prop 187 and votes for Gov. Pete Wilson?
> How about the number
> of voters who voted for both of those, and also for
> Sen. Barbara Boxer?
> Does this let us draw conclusions about Wilson
> voters that ought to be
> confidential?
>
> Or put otherwise, do/should CLASSES of voters,
> defined by one
> collection of votes, have anonymity rights in
> relation to their other
> votes?
>

=====
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:17 2004

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