Re: Voting Stations

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Thu May 06 2004 - 16:30:06 CDT


> However, it looks like your design presupposes LCD or
> similar monitors. I know most people now expect to
> see a monitor in front of them but I suppose it could
> be studied as an alternative. .......
Horizontal orientation is good for voter privacy. What I have drawn is not
too unlike the screen orientation of some commercial systems.

I don't really presuppose LCD. The sketch I made could also work CRT where
the table has a hole for the monitor to be mounted. However, over time, I
think it's clear that screens will be flat panel LCDs. Most new systems
come with them.

> Also, the kiosks in my
> branch library are pretty hefty items so that might
> not be the best model if you're looking for light
> weight. Now that I've through about it for a little
> while, I'm dropping the requirement for a curtain
> except for booths made for the wheel chair bound. I
> hate to make a 'special' booth for the disabled on
> general principles of mainlining but that's my
> problem. It still might be good to have 6-12" 'wings'
> sticking out on each side of a booth for privacy.
Right. These could be cardboard... whatever works.

> However, I do have heartburn with your printer
> placement. At the very least, it needs some sort of
> cage around it to keep people from trying to vandalize
> it.
I don't know if that's worth it. The HP 1300 can be had for $300 (very
rugged high-quality laser). Other pretty good laser printers can be had for
$150 - 200. A good cage might cost quite a bit and be a big hassle. I
don't know how big a problem polling place vandalism might be. I don't see
this as a big issue and one axiom would be to have at least one replacement
printer available incase of some problem.

> Also, on a related note, I was just looking at
> ink jet printers when I realized that one of the
> challenges was that they only hold about 200 or so
> sheets of paper at a time. At full capacity at the
> polling place, how many people an hour would use an
> EVM? In other words, if a vendor decided to use ink
> jet printers how many times a day might each printer
> have to be refilled with paper? Similarly, a laser
> printer usually holds 500 sheets.
Again, I'm glad you're thinking these things through but this topic has been
gone over quite a bit. The average number of ballots per polling place is
about 500 for a general election (think 100 million divided by 200,000
polling places). Seven machines would mean an average of about 70 ballots
printed. Add something for tests, spoiled ballots, etc. ... say 100. Even
doubling that for a good safety margin and figure 200. The HP 1300 can hold
250 sheets. So if it's filled at the beginning of Election Day, there
should be no need to refill. Even if you have to refill in some rare cases,
this can be taken care of by having a ream of paper on hand. This is not
really a big issue.

It does become a little bit of an issue if heaver stock is required. I
don't see ever needing to go to card stock, but something inbetween card
stock and plain paper might be considered. Still should not be a big issue.

> I found the Australian site pretty interesting.
> However I noticed that that they were using a LAN, a
> server and perhaps only one printer. I didn't think
> we were doing that. I get the impression that there
> was an actual internal structure that was holding the
> cardboard up. The problem of dealing with weight and
> security seals doesn't come up or at least isn't
> discussed in the site you've mentioned. I know that
> the actual booth could be handled with cardboard
> cylinders and such but I think a 'normal' pc cpu would
> need to sit on the floor.
The monitor is held up by a cardboard structure. Probably the CPU is on the

This is not necessarily the way the Aussies do it now. The picture is from
a small pilot. I know the software has been reworked a couple of times
since then. Also given the talk about paperless voting issues, they are now
talking like maybe they should have a printer. I don't know how widespread
the eVACS system is being used--not very widely I think.

> What do you think?
Need to be real cheap and real simple.

Alan D.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:20 2004

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