Re: PIN/ballot-id for EVM voter activation

From: Steve Chessin <steve_dot_chessin_at_sun_dot_com>
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 21:58:39 CDT

>Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 18:35:18 -0400
>From: David Mertz <>
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] PIN/ballot-id for EVM voter activation
>>> 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

As I recall from the poll worker training I took, we were told not to
let lines form at the machines, so as to protect voter privacy (both
perceived as well as actual). Voters were told to wait at the check-in
table until a machine became vacant.

>Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 16:03:49 -0700
>From: Arthur Keller <>
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] PIN/ballot-id for EVM voter activation

>Do you want to hold up the line for signing in voters because there
>is a queue at the voting machines?

Yes. Rather, you don't want the queue to be at the voting machines
(because of privacy issues), you want a small queue of signed-in voters
still at the check-in table waiting for machines to become vacant, and
a larger queue waiting to sign in. The size of the small queue is
determined by the length of the check-in table. When that queue
is full, you stop signing people in, and let people remain in line,
with the line going out the door and onto the sidewalk if necessary.

This is how it worked in Santa Clara County, California, in the recent
elections. (Your mileage may vary.)

A fully-staffed polling place had four workers. The voter would come
in and give her name and address. The first worker found the voter's
name in the alphabetical index and had them sign in. The second one
found them in the street index and crossed them off there. The third
worker would activate a smart card for the voter and hand it to her.
The fourth worker was a floater, helping people who had questions about
the machines, handling provisional ballots, assisting vision-impaired
voters, etc. The fourth worker would also relieve one of the others
during breaks (or be on break herself). Breaks were always during
quiet times, never during a rush.

During the primary, the first worker had to tell the third worker the
voter's party so that the card would be activated for that party.
This slowed down the processing of voters somewhat.

Some polling places were shared by more than one precinct. In that
case, there were two check-in tables, two sets of poll workers, and two
sets of machines, one for each precinct. (Two lines of voters as well,
at least beyond the sign that told them which side of the room was for
which precinct.) Other counties may have handled the multiple precinct
per polling place issue differently.

= 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 23:17:47 2004

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