Re: Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 11:33:33 CDT

>>> 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.

> 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 could be wrong on the causes, since I only rely on the media reports
I read. I suppose more will come out when the CA AG starts prosecuting
and suing Diebold.

However, in the reports I read, the suggestion was that Diebold
distributed smartcards to precincts. Each smartcard contained the
whole election configuration, so ANY Diebold machine (of the right
model) that had a Precinct 1234 card inserted into it would display the
1234 ballot options. Diebold, in some cases, distributed, e.g.,
Precinct 9876 cards into Precinct 1234.

Under the Alan/Ellen/Ed/David systems, a similar error would occur if
the EVMix CD for Precinct 9876 was sent to Precinct 1234. However,
hopefully, when the poll workers booted the CD, and saw the welcome
message "Configuring voting station for Precinct 9876" they would
detect the error, and take remedial action, before any voters arrived.
But under all of these systems, the ballot configuration is per-machine
(per-CD) rather than per-voter. I'm not sure whether Arthur's
smartcards are quite as "smart" as Diebold's.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:46 2004

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