Re: Request for technical opinion on EBIs

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 15:39:02 CDT

Dear Jeremy,. et al.,

Thanks for your message. I had a hand in the development of OVC's
system, but it was a larger group that designed it. I've copied
David Dill and the OVC mailing list on my reply, so that others
knowledgeable on this issue can chime in too.

With electronic voting machines, there are two primary questions that
arise with the counting. First, are the ballots correctly and
faithfully recorded as EBI's. And second, are the ballots correctly
and faithfully tabulated in the canvassing process. The short answer
is that the printing of EBI's addresses only the second question, and
only partially. It has no bearing on the first question. It is
possible that due to software glitches or even fraud, the EBI does
not faithfully represent the voter's intent as specified to the EVM.
This is possible even if the voter has "verified" what has appeared
on the screen---what's written to permanent media for tabulation may
in fact be different. Furthermore, how does the proposal address the
potential that EBI's can be lost?

One problem in using EBI's is that knowing the time of the vote can
be used to reconstruct the votes cast by individual voters.

I suggest that recounts (including those done on a spot check basis
after the election as well as full recounts) be done using media that
has directly been verified by the voter. Paper is ok; even Ted
Selker's audiotape approach is ok; but bits on a disk are not.

Best regarrds,
Arthur

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Received on Mon May 31 23:18:02 2004

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