Re: PIN/ballot-id for EVM voter activation

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 23:47:08 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.

How would one know how long the line really is? Should people
congregate next to the voting machine they are waiting for? And
what if the wrong person goes next?

>>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.

Then the tearoff proposal does not work, right?

Besides how does this work for visually impaired voters? And what
mechanism do you use for entering the numbers?

>>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.

So called "dumb cards" have their own problems. Simpler is a point
of view. Are they simpler and less error prone for the poll workers
and voters to use? I suggest not. It's merely simpler in hardware

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 23:17:45 2004

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