Re: CASE-Ohio event

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Mon May 02 2005 - 01:49:36 CDT

On May 1, 2005, at 11:07 PM, David Mertz wrote:

>> Lynn will be pushing her hand-count/paper only scheme
>> Below is what I have come up with so far. Before you read it,
>> keep in
>> mind what I am looking for:
>> Here's what I have come up with so far:
>> 1.. Too much man power needed
>> 1.. Need one person from each party
>> 2.. Need LOTS of people
>> 3.. Already short on poll workers
>
> Don't say these. All of them are clearly contradicted by voting here
> in Massachusetts. A small number of poll workers can easily
> hand-count paper-only ballots in a small amount of time. State law
> might differ, but I don't really think the "every party" thing is
> followed especially. Certainly party observers have the *right* to be
> there, but the election isn't called off if a party doesn't decide to
> monitor a polling place.
>
>> 4.. 20-30 contests on the ballot, 12 propositions- takes LOTS of
>> time
>> and man-power to count them all (this is different than the Canadian
>> system
>> where they only vote for one office and hand-count it)
>
> I've seen these sort of numbers (maybe slightly lower) in MA. Again,
> doesn't take long to hand-count.

I tend to agree with all this. The chief problems with hand counts seem
to be that (a) some people don't like to do them and (b) their error
rate is higher than those obtained via properly-managed fraud-free
machine counts. And it is easier to stuff ballots using paper than
using a properly-designed, properly-handled digital system. But paper
is much more transparent: people understand, in at least basic terms,
how it is handled. And that transparency has value: it allows citizens
to see their government in operation and to understand what it's doing
and why. That view and understanding, in turn, keep citizens engaged
with government a basic requirement for a republic's continuation as
such.

>> 2.. Not politically viable
>> 1.. No supporters in house or senate
>> 2.. No Secretary of State supporters
>> 3.. No County Registrar supporters
>> 4.. No state senate or house supporters
>
> Well, I'm not sure if it counts as "supporters", but it's not exactly
> like the existing system has any notable "detractors" here in MA
> either.
>
>> 3.. Multiple languages
>> 4.. Disabled Access
>
> Good and good.
>
>> 5.. IRV
>
> Limited applicability. Good concept, but if a county doesn't use it,
> they don't care.
>
>> 6.. More time it takes to count = more time for corruption to happen
>
> Tenuous at best.
>
>> 7.. Human error (try counting a dunce cap full of boiled peas twice)
>
> Maybe.
>
>> 8.. Fraud
>> 1.. Tamaney Hall
>> 2.. Landslide Lyndon Johnson
>> 3.. Chicago
>> Main point: We need computers to create an audit trail.
>
> Well, we need observers who have access to the counting. The audit
> trail is kinda "nice to have" though. But don't expect to win any
> real points on that.
>
>> We are not asking you to trust computers, we are asking you to
>> realize there
>> 's a need for a computer check to provide ADDED security!
>
> That part is good.

Actually, if the Ring of Power were to fall into my hands, every vote
would be conducted with paper ballots, counted by hand, with
multipartisan observers at every step of the process [1]. Basically the
only reason I support OVC is that I don't think jurisdictions will
adopt such a system, and I see open source (done properly) as the only
acceptable automated voting solution.

>> "We saw what happened with hand counting in Florida and it wasn't
>> pretty." -Ed Cherlin
>
> Heh! It wasn't really that un-pretty. The court cases, and especially
> SCOTUS, were ugly. But I saw the inspection of chads as Democracy in
> Action.

Yes. The chads were not only democracy in action, but transparent
democracy in action. Everyone could see what was happening, and why.
But the chad-counting does have a negative connotation to the public at
large.

-R

[1] Except for the disabled, who would use an OVC-style system.

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:11 2005

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