Re: More on voting stations

From: Karl Auerbach <karl_at_cavebear_dot_com>
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 14:34:54 CDT

> Inkjets are too slow. Please show me an inkjet that will have ballot in the
> out tray 8 seconds after you press print.

A lot of the newer ink-jets are rated in multiple tens of sheets printed
per minute and, assuming they avoid their head cleaning dance, often start
printing within a second of the "print" button being pushed.

You are right about graphics - but the need for graphics as a watermark
technique doesn't require full page graphics. A few small graphics would
probably be sufficient to address the issue of ballot-box stuffing using
off-site pre-printed ballots.

One way we dealt with this at Wells Fargo was to introduce what looked
like random (in fact in that case they were random) "specks" - small spots
that were hard to notice that actually formed an anti-forgery identifier.

(With color ink-jets, the color combinations used for graphics and for
header text also is an anti-forgery technique. In fact, it is possible to
obtain and use special inks.)

> > It's risky not to do that for an election, and more expensive
> > and more environmentally unfriendly to do that for laser toner
> cartridges.
> >
> I don't agree. I don't think it will be necessary to put in a new toner
> cartridge in every printer.

I can imagine the headline - "Old Toner Cartridge Invalidates Election".

When you get only one shot at the gold (or the moon or an election) the
balance between cost and reliability tends to require that more weight be
given to the latter. (I have a hard time imagining an airline pilot
during pre-flight leaning over to the co-pilot and saying "I think we have
enough fuel to make it to the next island, let's give it a try.")

As you say, I look for technical solutions - which means, to me, a written
pre-election procedure that says "insert newly refilled toner cartridge
(or ink cartridge(s)) into printer". If one is worried about cost, the
old, still largely full cartridge can be used back at the election offices
and in the county schools.

Cartridges don't usually die outright - they start to generate blank
streaks and the like - It's bad to introduce a subjective judgement call
onto the voter and voting place staff.

                --karl--
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:24 2004

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