RE: TED SELKER: US Election Assistance Commissio n--Questions

From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) <"Popkin,>
Date: Mon May 10 2004 - 20:25:38 CDT

Ted Selker's theory is that an audiotape has a number of advantages over
paper. It's easier to store and handle a cassette tape than a stack of
paper. It's hardware to manipulate a tape than a stack of paper. And it's
easier to record onto cassette tape than to print out and handle paper.

These arguments are all true. But somehow it seems like a "crazy" idea.
Perhaps I'm getting old?

Ted doesn't address the privacy issues of the tape being sequential. I can't
think of a meaningful way to address that -- if you reshuffle the recordings
on the tape, you've eliminated the value of the tape as a "true" recording
of the voting. Perhaps his answer would be that you lose that privacy? Of
course, the tape doesn't record the time between voters, so there's some
protection there, somewhat.

- LP

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of David
Sent: Sunday, May 09, 2004 1:57 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] TED SELKER: US Election Assistance

On May 9, 2004, at 1:26 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:
>> involved video capture of the "voter verification screen" of a DRE.
> This scheme still has the "trust us" factor. The average person would
> have
> no idea if this really means anything.

So does the audio tape system, for that matter. Pointing to a tape
recording doesn't really do a good job of proving all and only the
right things are recorded (and exactly once each), nor that the
anonymizing is done right at the end of the day. I understand
Charlie's point about some checks being procedural, of necessity. But
it's both easier to understand, and to perform, a paper-ballot
shuffling than it is to do a proper tape-to-tape transfer/splicing
and/or "random sector CD-R writes."

I think Selker's system probably COULD work in principle. But I cannot
for the life of my figure out why someone would want something much
more complicated, error prone, and difficult to use, rather than OVCs
simple paper ballts. Maybe Selker has a NIH attitude, and likes
something just so he can have his name on it (maybe like the
ballot-under-glass "Mercuri method" whose only advantage seems to be
her name on it).

So let's just stick to "Dechert Barcodes" for OVC :-). (And can we
have the Mertz-something too, maybe the vote encoding; and naturally
Karrman-obfuscation of the Dechert Barcodes).

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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:32 2004

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