Re: More on voting stations

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 12:00:44 CDT


> I'm hoping to find someone who already is building a diskless,
> touch-screen, USB 2, smart-card reader (yes, I do think we need this), PC
> kind of platform - there are machines that are close (but no cigar), e.g.
> Sun's SunRay 150 -
It's fine to look at a specific configuration (even with a smartcard) for a
first go at the certification process. I'm all for it because it makes
marketing sense from the election administrator's perspective.

However, the OVC idea is to produce an inexpensive system that "runs on
anything"--and it will work without a smartcard. This is the idea I've been
selling for 3.5 years. That will not change. People like the idea. It
makes sense to make it as simple and obvious as possible to the voter: you
go to the machine, make your selections, print your ballot and take it to
deposit in the ballot box. It also makes sense to people to make best use
of available resources rather than spend a lot of money on dedicated voting

The OVC idea is significantly messier from the election administrators'
point of view. But it makes a great deal of sense to the average person.
We can get the fixed configuration system certified easier, but I guarantee
I will get the messier idea certified too.

> As for printers - I'm using a non-postscript printer to print ballots.
> The CUPS system seems to do a quite good job of printing postscript onto
> non postscript printers.

> There is a problem with many printers - the delay.
Not much. The $300 HP 1300 we used for the demo is pretty fast. The new
$300 printer is MUCH faster than the HP LJ 4 that I paid $1,400 for 10 years
ago. The trend is cheaper and faster.

> I foresee a significant possibility that voters will think they
> are done and leave before the paper ballot is printed.
I don't believe this is a significant issue. The basic concept of voting
here is that you vote by putting a paper ballot in the ballot box. If
someone has the wherewithal to get far enough along in the voting process to
get to the voting booth, I think they will understand that part of the

> We may well need to come up with software controlled curtain mechanism
> that is present less for privacy and more for keeping the voter in the
> boot until the paper is ready.
I'd put that idea on the back-burner... waaaay back.

Alan D.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:21 2004

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