RE: Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

From: Steve Chessin <steve_dot_chessin_at_sun_dot_com>
Date: Mon May 17 2004 - 17:39:01 CDT

>Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 10:02:53 -0400
>From: "Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp)" <>
>Subject: RE: [voting-project] Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

>About scanning, my understanding is that we're proposing that ballots are
>simple stored when the voter hands them in, and are scanned as a batch when
>the polls close. Thus, the scanning would be performed by a trained poll
>worker (and the software would reject bad scans, duplicate scans, etc.).
>Personally, I like the idea of scanning the ballots immediately, in which
>case I'd think that it's better to have the poll workers scan the ballots,
>because voters are likely to have problems with which paper orientation is
>correct. Also, is there any reason that we're talking about sheet feed
>scanners instead of the (IMO) more obvious handheld scanners? It's a lot
>easier and faster (and with fewer moving parts, I think) to wave a "laser"
>scanner at a barcode than to feed a ballot correct through a sheet feed

Since you refer to "scanning" in the context of my message below, I am
confused. I was comparing the ease or difficulty of a voter feeding
ballot stock into an EVM printer's single-sheet-feed mechanism to the
ease or difficulty of a voter feeding ballot stock into a legacy
precinct-based optical scanner's single-sheet-feed mechanism; I was not
referring (in this message) to how EVM ballots would be scanned (at
either the polling place or a central count location).


>- -----Original Message-----
>[]On Behalf Of
>Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 12:29 AM
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED
>>Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 12:19:56 -0700
>>From: "Alan Dechert" <>
>>Subject: Re: [voting-project] Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED
>>> I'd like to figure out a way to make Ellen's system work. It
>>> is cheaper than smart cards and has other benefits too. ...
>>Fine, Arthur. I also think it's worth looking at. However, large trials
>>are needed to see how good/bad it is to have voters insert the paper. I
>>predict big problems.
>I don't know that I agree. Many jurisdictions today have
>precinct-based scanner systems, where the voter has to insert their
>ballot into the scanner. I haven't heard of problems with those.
>Of course, the feed on those scanners is custom-designed by the
>vendors. You're planning to use COTS printers, so Ellen's proposal has
>to work with COTS sheet-feeders. At work we have Lexmark Optra S 1855
>printers. They have a sheet-feed capability that seems fairly simple
>to use. Of course, those printers are probably a lot more expensive
>than your design point. I don't know what kind of sheet feeders are
>available in inexpesive printers.
>>A person with gout will have a tough time. Others with any of a number of
>>disabilities will have trouble with it.
>There are no privacy issues with assisting someone in inserting a blank
>ballot into a printer, so I don't see this as an important factor.
>Once the paper is there, they can still vote privately. Of more
>concern is if someone will need help getting the paper into the privacy
>On the other hand, no one expects a voting system to be accessible no
>matter what the disability or set of disabilities. Some people are
>going to require assistance no matter what. (For example, HAVA doesn't
>require voting machines to be accessible to someone who is both vision-
>AND hearing-impaired. Helen Keller would still require assistence to
>>Even perfectly capable people will
>>fail to insert the paper far enough--when they go to print, the printer
>>won't grab the paper.
>Presumably the printer will detect this as a "no paper" condition
>and not attempt any printing.
>>Some people will get it in a little crooked and their
>>ballot will be mangled.
>Then they declare it to be "spoiled" and try again.
>>Pollworkers will spend a lot of time assisting people with this and the
>>people being assisted will feel dumb and will be turned off by the system.
>That's speculation.
>>I'm not saying it's unworkable, but large scale human factors testing would
>>be needed before using this live.
>As will the entire EVM. But first, start with small-scale human
>factors testing. Check out the single sheet-feed capability of various
>COTS printers.
>- --Steve
= 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 23:17:52 2004

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