Re: Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 14:58:12 CDT

> On May 15, 2004, at 3:17 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:
> > I want to make this point clear: This is not the original design that
> > I have
> > been selling for 3.5 years. I do not agree with it. I think it is
> > very bad.
> > The design for this system is that the voter goes to the voting
> > station with
> > no such smartcard or PIN.
> I really can't see the original design working, as a matter of
> principle. I'd *like* it to be that simple and voter-centric too, but
> I believe that is illegal in most jurisdictions.
I don't see anything "illegal" about it. I have explained the dumb card
approach for primaries a few times over the past 3 years. For example,

I have proposed a "dumb card" instead of a smart card for use in a primary.
When you check in, the pollworker would give you a card with a number on it
that represents your party. Let's say you're a Republican and that is party
number two. You'd get a card (maybe the size of a 3x5 card) that has the
number "2" on it. The first screen you see on the voting station would say,
"select you party number" or something like that. The printed ballot would
have a number "2" visible in the margin along with the barcode. When you go
to deposit the ballot, the pollworker takes your dumb card and checks the
number on the margin to see that it matches.
> Here's the scenario I'd like Alan to explain the procedure for, without
> the use of any kind of smart/dumb "token" handed out during check-in.
> If an explanation exists, I'm happy to endorse it:
I didn't say nothing would be handed out in a primary at check-in.

> Many jurisdictions have different ballots for different voters who vote
> at the same polling place. For example, in my county/city, I must vote
> in primaries at a specific location, for every party affiliation I
> might have.
It sometimes happens that precincts are co-located at one polling place and
have different ballot styles. This is true. I don't know how common that
is. I'd like to see some statistics on that ... more data we'd like to
gather in a real study. I believe that when precincts are co-located, they
usually have the same ballot style (i.e., they are in the same districts).

Nonetheless, we have to allow for the possibility. In these cases, tables
and voting stations should be clearly marked and separated so voters don't
accidentally go to the wrong voting station. A point to keep in mind: a
particular voting technology comes with its own procedures to be followed.
This is true for other technologies and will be true for OVC technology.

Alan D.

> If I walk into the polling place already registered as a Green, I may
> ONLY vote a Green ballot. If I walk in unenrolled, I may switch to
> being a Democrat for the day; but I must take explicit action *after*
> voting to become unenrolled again (or to change affiliation to, e.g.
> Republican). I can take this explicit action at the polling place,
> but it's still a separate step. Between the time I walk from the front
> desk to the voting machine, I am legally enrolled in one and only one
> party, and I may not be legally permitted to vote a different party
> ballot.
> So what's the system to conform to Massachusetts rules, absent a
> "token" handed out by poll workers? (a token is just something that
> contains a secret of sorts, either a PIN-style number/code (could have
> letters too), or some electronic numbers held on a physical card). In
> the existing system with paper ballots, the poll worker hands me a
> particular pre-printed ballot. This works great--but the poll worker
> is required to enforce the rules about which ballot I'm allowed to take
> to the booth. Giving me a generic choice of ballot would be illegal.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:44 2004

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