Re: TED SELKER: US Election Assistance Commission--Questions

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Sun May 09 2004 - 15:45:07 CDT

Hello All:

    The headphone approach is very interesting but I'd like to think that it
may be for a later version of the EVM. My thesis is that we should fix what
is obviously broken and let the procedural approach handle the rest. What
is obviously broken is that DRE machines do not leave a suitable audit trail
and are a black box approach. There are times when I even question the need
for a bar code for the reading impaired if OCR would do it as well.

    I have searched the archives about the 'privacy folder' and am a little
unclear as to how it would look like. The link to the image site was
broken.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas W. Jones" <jones@cs.uiowa.edu>
To: <voting-project@lists.sonic.net>
Sent: Sunday, May 09, 2004 11:48 AM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] TED SELKER: US Election Assistance
Commission--Questions

>
> On May 9, 2004, at 12:26 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:
>
> > Doug,
> >
> >> This has real potential as an alternative to a paper record. I think
> >> it should be taken seriously. ....
> >
> > If so, I think the danger of this system is that you'd train voters in
> > such
> > a way that they always hear the vote read back correctly and over time
> > they
> > would stop checking.
>
> It's hard to "stop checking what you hear." Much harder than to
> skip over reading something.
>
> Also, in general, training is almost irrelevant for voting. People
> will forget almost all trained reponses from one voting session to
> the next. That's because voting is something we do once in a blue
> moon, infrequent enough that training is almost irrelevant.
>
> > Eventually, few, if any, normally sighted voters would
> > take the time to listen.
>
> It's not a matter of taking time to listen. Ted's idea is that
> as you push the button for Ogelthorpe, it says "Ogelthorpe for
> Drain Commissioner." You don't take time to listen, it reads your
> selections to you in real time, with immediate feedback.
>
> In this regard, Chaum's current voter-verified and provable paper
> scheme is similar. He wants to have manufactured computer screen
> enclosures that include a printer behind optics, so that, as you
> select Ogelthorpe, it prints "Drain commission: Ogelthorpe" and
> projects it on a one-line projection screen below the display
> screen (as close as possible to the display screen and in the
> same focal plane). So, as you vote, you get to examine, immediately,
> the printed record of your selection, with no time delay between
> making the selection and verifying it.
>
> (Both proposals face problems when a voter changes their selection.
> In both cases, you simply record all selections as part of that
> voter's "ballot image" and have the rule that the final selection
> recorded or printed in the ballot image is the final one.)
>
> Note that Chaum's voter-verified proposal includes cryptographic
> components that allow the voter, after the fact, to verify that
> their selection has been included in the totals. This is really a
> separate element of his proposal not the topic of this thread.
>
> > As always, trials are needed. The ballot printing system we are
> > proposing
> > would most likely find virtually all of the normally sighted voters
> > checking
> > the paper and this would not diminish over time.
>
> Well, I'll agree that most people would check the top-of-the-ticket
> race, but I wonder how frequently people will check the mid-ticket
> and bottom-of-the-ticket races. It's the mid ticket races that
> probably represent the most corrupt practices in American politics
> today. County board, sherriff, offices like that where corruption
> has a pretty decent payback and where the jurisdiction, the county,
> is vulnerable to fixes you can implement entirely in the local
> election office.
>
> > This scheme still has the "trust us" factor. The average person would
> > have
> > no idea if this really means anything.
>
> I agree, all solutions that involve recording on write-once memory
> technology such as CD-R involve computers that we have to trust, but
> proof that a recorder does nothing but record is far simpler than
> proof that a tabulator tabulates correctly. In this regard, these
> solutions do represent genuine progress over DRE.
>
> I happen to agree, though, that paper is better. I do think, however,
> that these alternative schemes shouldn't be written off out-of-hand.
>
> Doug Jones
> jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:27 2004

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