Re: More on voting stations

From: Karl Auerbach <karl_at_cavebear_dot_com>
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 21:08:11 CDT

> > 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". ........
> >
> Again, trials are needed more than speculation. How many pollworkers can
> change a toner cartridge? Do you know where to find that tab.. and how to
> break it... then pull out the strip.

The crew that sets up each voting place would do this - or it would be
done at the pre-election staging facility, along with testing the UPS's
and charging 'em, making sure the voting stations boot, the scanners scan,
the touch screens touch, the headphones talk, etc.

The entire package needs to be run through an on-site pre-opening
procedure before the voting place doors open. That testing does require
trained hands and eyes - including some privileged access to the machines
to set their clocks and to sign the "ready to run" logs and paperwork.
The hands and eyes that can do that are necessarily able to ensure that
printers have fresh supplies.

Before we get to far from lasers versus inkjets - One nice thing about
many ink jets is that it's easy to write software that can read the ink
levels.

By-the-way, several toner cartridge makers [Lexmark] (and as I discovered
today, some ink-jet makers [Epson]) have put clocks into some of their
cartridges - they die on a given date whether they are empty or not.

> Again, trials are needed.

Given that trials come about twice a year, this kind of stuff needs to be
run through thought experiments.

As Arthur mentioned, the perfect is the enemy of the good. The last thing
we need to do right now is to add unnecessary risks - like running out of
printing toner right in the middle of the election day. To my mind, the
default ought to be to start each voting day filled to the brim with fresh
supplies - economizations from that starting point ought to be suggested
as areas that a voting administrator might wish to consider.

We gotta remember that the underlying issue here is voter confidence.
Economizing is nice, but not if it even begins to tickle the confidence in
the system.

                --karl--
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:25 2004

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