Re: Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

From: Ellen Theisen <ellent_at_olympus_dot_net>
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 10:04:01 CDT

When I vote, I sign a book that has my name in it, and my address, too, I
believe. So, the poll worker immediately knows my precinct. In fact, when we
had two precincts at one polling place, that's the way the poll worker
discovered what precinct I was in. Like most people, I don't know my
precinct number.

I think people can insert paper into the printer. Most printers have a
single-sheet feed bin. There could be a big red sticker on it that says
"Place blank ballot here. Make sure to insert it until it stops." And the
poll worker could give those instructions also when handing the paper to the

Or, the poll worker could insert the paper in the printer. Or, is that too
labor-intensive when the polls are busy? And if the voter is blind, the poll
worker could enter the "3" into the computer when helping to set up the

If there were a paper jam, it would be a very obvious problem, easily
correctable. If there were an electronic mess-up, it might not be so
obvious. Inserting a smart card is less familiar to people than inserting a
piece of paper in a printer.

And there is the advantage of transparency. With the pre-printed "3" on the
paper, the process is transparent to everyone. With a configured smart card
or PIN, much is hidden. So everyone wonders whether errors were hardware,
software, or poll workers.

Ellen Theisen
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Arthur Keller" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2004 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

> At 1:53 AM -0400 5/16/04, David Mertz wrote:
> >On May 16, 2004, at 1:45 AM, Arthur Keller wrote:
> >>Consider San Diego County, California, March 2004, where the LA
> >>Times estimated 7000 people in such polling places voted the ballot
> >>for the wrong precinct. It was blamed on the procedures for the
> >>Diebold voting machine.
> >
> >This particular error is entirely because of inaccurate "smart" card
> >configuration. Voters didn't show up at the wrong polling place,
> >they were given smartcards configured for the wrong precinct.
> >
> >This particular flaw is impossible under the designs suggest by
> >Alan, Ed, Ellen, and me. There's probably a moral here.
> Please explain how. What it the fault of the smart card programming
> or set up in advance? Or was it due to the poll worker choosing the
> wrong precinct for the voter due to inadequate training?
> >I think I'm a better programmer than those at Diebold; but I'd still
> >rather not give myself an opportunity to make a programming error
> >than count on not making an error, given the opportunity.
> But do you know the source of the error?
> You're speculating it's somehow Diebold's hardware or software?
> Could it instead be inadequate poll worker training? Could it be
> that the equipment was configured correctly, but the poll workers
> erred? Please explain how the other 4 systems would prevent the poll
> workers from making a comparable error?
> Best regards,
> Arthur
> --
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
> tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
= 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 23:17:46 2004

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