Re: Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

From: Ellen Theisen <ellent_at_olympus_dot_net>
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 23:52:36 CDT

What about this:

Leave the printers empty. The poll worker hands the voter a piece of paper
with a "3" printed in the top left corner of the paper -- regardless of
which edge is up or which side is up (so actually it would have four "3"s
printed on it). The "3" tells the voter the code to enter to start the
cycle. When the ballot prints, a second "3" would be printed just to the
right of the initial one. The poll worker checks the part sticking out of
the privacy folder to make sure it has two 3's, not a 3 and a 4.

The voter can only print one ballot without getting another piece of paper
from the poll worker, so ballots can be reconciled. Just make sure the
casting and printing are co-dependent.

Poll workers could use a special admin program to print the numbers on the
corners while they are setting up the polls. And if they run out during the
day, they could just print a few more at any vacant station. This way the
computers could also track the quantity of each blank style that had been

Ellen Theisen
Join with us! Sign up at

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Mertz" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2004 12:40 PM
Subject: [voting-project] Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

> 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.
> 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:
> 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.
> 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.
= 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 23:17:45 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon May 31 2004 - 23:18:16 CDT