Re: PIN/ballot-id for EVM voter activation

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Fri May 14 2004 - 18:03:49 CDT

At 6:35 PM -0400 5/14/04, David Mertz wrote:
>>>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.

Do you want to hold up the line for signing in voters because there
is a queue at the voting machines?

>>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
> ... ... ... ...

And when the poll worker is looking at the list, I read it upside
down and vote however I please....

>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.

Things should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. -- Einstein

Best regards,

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:44 2004

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