Re: Brand new concept in audit trails

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Wed May 04 2005 - 01:21:20 CDT

Joseph Lorenzo Hall wrote:

>On 5/3/05, Jim March <jmarch@prodigy.net> wrote:
>
>
>>And that's the key. "Box one" ballots go into that box, which goes back
>>to county elections HQ. "Box two" end up in binders, one or two binders
>>per precinct depending on turnout, precinct size, etc.
>>
>>The binders can be "checked out and inspected" at a county office by
>>interested members of the public - in the same fashion, I can already go
>>down to a county election office and say "show me the campaign finance
>>binders for the mayor for 2003" or whatever.
>>
>>
>
>While I'm mostly braindead at the moment due to the end of the school
>semester, this makes me feel uneasy. Let me play the devil's advocate
>here and voice what makes me feel uneasy...
>
>(I'm assuming that the public ballots would at least be shuffled
>before being placed in the binder)
>
>

Basically, yeah. In the variation I favor, they'd be part of a
two-layer form coming out of a single printer and dropped in one ballot
box in at least a semi-random fashion. They would be "split" into the
two parts (and one for public viewing by precinct binder) back at county
election HQ to limit pollworker overhead.

>>From a ballot privacy perspective, it is a whole new world when anyone
>can check out copies of full, voted ballots. For example, it could be
>that the last thirty votes were printed on a printer that is either
>out of ink or, however, leaves some sort of different mark on the
>ballot. By checking out the ballots in binder-form, you'd be able to
>reduce the amount of ballots from which to figure out how someone
>voted.
>
>

Possibly valid. Doing two-layer printing via dot matrix helps because
no matter what the ink density on the top "official" layer, the bottom
layers are all identical. Even if there's zero ink on the top layer,
voter intent can be revealed with the right light and a magnifying glass
looking at the dot impacts on paper.

>Shuffling the ballots and then doing something that would (at least,
>in effect) reprint them in a standard format would help to eliminate
>this. However, then there's still special write-in votes (intentional
>or unintentional).
>
>

Well a pen will write in a write-in candidate on two-part paper just fine.

>Something that would eliminate all of this would be to physically
>seperate the individual contests on a ballot. In effect, have a
>special shredder that could take a ballot style and slice the ballot
>up into a bunch of races.
>
>

Ummmm...we're no longer talking about off-the-shelf standard hardware at
that point. Not impossible but that's a serious downside.

>Alright, I'm starting to sound crazy... hopefully, there's something
>in the past few paragraphs that makes sense. best, Joe
>
>

Yeah, there is. Some of your concerns have merit; I think dot matrix on
a two-part form where the second layer is impact-driven versus inked
helps as all the publicly viewed audit versions will be identical.

Jim
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:15 2005

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