Re: Brand new concept in audit trails

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Thu May 05 2005 - 12:03:10 CDT

On May 5, 2005, at 10:43 AM, Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:
> OK, I stand corrected on the availability of perforated paper.
> However, I still don't see that
> paper splitter that everyone is talking about. Did you really expect
> that poll workers are going to tear each and every ballot by hand?
> Honestly, I do like the basic simplicity of the idea (shall we call it
> 'audit ballots'?) but y'all seem to be proposing some awful
> complicated ways to go about it. Whatever happened to KISS?

I'm not sure what's complicated about poll workers splitting a ballot.
Lots of places have a tear off portion of a ballot (usually with the
second part just a ballot number or code, not the whole vote).

However, while I don't think perforated paper in various styles is
difficult to obtain or separate, I do not actually like Jim's idea
overall. If there is to be an audit copy, perforated paper is better
than carbons. But having watched the discussion, I have not become
convinced that an "audit ballot" is useful--or at least not useful
enough for the moderate extra handling difficulties.

It seems to me that if laws mandate access to ballots after the
election, that access can either be to the original "summary paper
ballot" we had considered before (if so, controlled access such as
"view only under glass"), or perhaps to a microfilm or photocopy of
said ballots. Making the copy right at the polling place seems to
offer very minimal assurance over a single copy that is already
inspectible by voters.

I am not -fundamentally- opposed to Jim's audit ballot the way I am to
some novice misunderstandings that come up frequently (e.g. taking home
a copy of ballot, or overly fancy crypto). But just as a practical,
mechanical question, it doesn't seem worth it. If some jurisdiction
said that's what they wanted, I wouldn't object to certifying such a
system as "OVC approved"... but it isn't something I'll actively push
for either.

Yours, David...

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:20 2005

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