Re: PIN/ballot-id for EVM voter activation

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri May 14 2004 - 17:35:18 CDT

>> One way to handle PIN numbers would be to have the initialization
>> routine for EVMs print out a list of PINs to activate that machine.

> That means that a PIN is for a particular voting machine, not just any
> available machine. So you couldn't easily have a single queue for all
> the machines *after* people sign in.

In all the voting places I've voted in, it's not hard to see the voting
booths from the check-in table. Have other people had a different
experience in this regard?

Assuming other polling places are like mine, I would just look around
the room for an unoccupied voting station (or one with the shortest
line), and say to the poll worker, e.g., "I wish to vote at station
#3". Of course, it would be my discretion as a
(masochistic/suspicious) voter to instead choose the station with the
long line.

> Second, the PIN number doesn't specify what ballot type (e.g., party
> for primary, precinct for combined precinct polling place if the
> ballot types differ).

True. This doesn't seem too hard to handle. Just assign an additional
digit or two to match a particular ballot, and have the machine
activate the right ballot accordingly. E.g. a poll worker might have a
list like:

   PIN Party-Codes
   4563 23R 71D 23G
   9182 87R 02D 30G
   ... ... ... ...

I would go to the poll worker, and e.g. say "I wish to vote a
Republican ballot" (in MA, unenrolled voters can declare at the polls).
  The poll worker would write "456323" on a slip (then cross off the
first line). Even assuming I know how the system works, I wouldn't
know that "71" was the suffix for a Democratic ballot, since the number
was randomly generated per-PIN.

> Smart cards can fix both of these problems.

Well, kinda. But smart cards are fragile and expensive (in terms of
programming more than as physical objects). "Dumb cards"--as Alan
cleverly called them--stay a lot closer to the KISS principle.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:43 2004

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