Re: Polling Place conditions, reframing the issue

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 22:01:18 CDT

Hello Arthur:

    As the poll worker needs to initialize a machine for each voter (if I
understand this correctly) the evm's are being checked as often as every 5
minutes. I'd suggest that as the output of each machine is a legal paper
ballot, that the machine simply be sent through the end of the day shut down
routine upon discovery of a failure. This does mean that you might loose
the digital ballot images although they are supposed to be written to the
thumb drive at the end of each voting cycle. Thumb drives are non-volatile
aren't they? In the case of vandalism, another test ballot might need to be
ran and the poll judges would have to be consulted. The rest of the issue
boils down to an administrative auditing problem. As always, if the vote is
not close, it would not matter greatly. As Murphy plays no favorites, it is
likely that machines will fail at polling stations even if only the saints
and angels are voting. What needs to be evaluated is how many machines
extra have to be on stand by. This is an actuarial question. However, the
raw data would come from at least two sources. First source is the
registrar of voters in selected counties. The other source is MTBF (mean
time between failures) of hardware and the Linux operating system. However,
as the EVM 1 might cost 1/3rd the price of a DRE it's more affordable to
have a few machine on standby.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

----- Original Message -----
From: "Arthur Keller" <>
To: <>
Cc: "OVC" <>
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 10:40 AM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Polling Place conditions, reframing the issue

> At 10:16 AM -0700 5/13/04, Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:
> >I think we're taking an engineering approach to equipment security
> >when we might want to consider more of a risk based approach,
> >especially for the Mark I. How likely is the equipment going to be
> >vandalized or sabotaged. Should we suggest that one or more
> >redundant machines be on standby at a polling place? Worst case is
> >great for structures and electrical wiring but it may not be a good
> >approach for this sort of administrative question.
> To me, the question is, how do we handle the votes made on a
> vandalized (or merely malfunctioning) machine?
> Best regards,
> Arthur
> --
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
> tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Mon May 31 23:17:41 2004

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