Re: Voting Stations

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Thu May 06 2004 - 17:40:02 CDT

Ed,

> I finally say your note about following the
> thread. Oops. OK. Sounds like a horizontal touch
> screen monitor is the way to go. ...
>
Maybe touch screen. The Aussies use a keypad. A mouse could also be used.
My guess is there should be at least one touch screen per poll site for
people not comfortable with a mouse or keypad.

> However, I can't see
> carboard reliably holding up a big 'ol 17" CRT.
>
The Aussies did it. I was told it was a bit tricky figuring how to do it,
but the final result was pretty good. I remember reading one of the voters'
comments--something about something like a burning odor. So there may be an
issue with the ventilation holes. Anyway, cardboard is not really a part of
our plan.

> Are
> we going to need to specify flat panel monitors?
>
Good question. Some testing and study is required there. A mixture is also
possible. For example, a large CRT might be best for handicapped access
(where the monitor will be in a more normal orientation).

> Otherwise, you'd need something at least like a
> plastic milk crate underneath a CRT. I'm glad the
> paper capacity issue has been worked through already.
> If we go with banquet tables and carboard surrounds, I
> would recommend a higher amount of redundant machines
> and printers.
>
The number of spares will be whatever works best.

> Would lighting be an issue with a monitor projecting
> the image up to your eyes?
>
I suppose lighting is always an issue.

> I'm still having trouble
> wrapping my mind around a free standing printer.
>
I don't have any problem with that. But we'll have to see. I mean if we're
worried about voters vandalizing expensive equipment, how could they ever be
trusted to use $3,500 DREs? These compact laser printers are comparitively
inexpensive.

> How about after the election has been certified and
> any challenges resolved, the equipment would be
> auctioned off as part of the SOS's normal duties.
> ........
I notice a reluctance for bureaucrats to take on new responsibilities like
that. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do it unless they were compelled to do
so. Good luck getting states to pass laws to make that happen.

Also, for the most part, states turn most of the responsibility over to
counties. So if the auction idea caught on, it would probably be county
registrars that would be involved. The only way they'd take it on is if it
helped them get something they want. I suppose if it was a way for them to
get new computers every year (or two), they might like that. Still, the
economics would need to be studied. If the hit (diff between purchase price
and auction value) is $200 per voting booth, that might be saleable. If
it's $500, probably that won't fly. Just a guess.

Alan D.

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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:20 2004

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