Re: Should candidates challenge elections?

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 19:35:18 CDT

I have already pointed out how a review of whole ballots can reveal the
identities of voters -- in particular, the most vulnerable ones. If you
don't think it can, please poke holes in my example; don't just assert
that it can't happen.

It's quite true that slicing the ballots can undermine their integrity.
However, I am not asking the public "to blindly 'trust the system'".
For electronic systems, I demand full open source with proper checks,
hardware inspection, random election-day testing, VVPAT, appropriate
use of random hand recounts, and real public supervision of all the
steps of the process (including the slicing), plus a comprehensive,
usable legal process to challenge apparent fraud and to ensure that the
right candidate gets the job in the election in question, not just in
some later election. For paper-only systems, we need full multipartisan
supervision at *every step of the process*, and we need a legal
framework that guarantees this supervision as a right.

If that's not "better than D[ie]bold", I'm a newt.

-R

On May 18, 2005, at 5:16 PM, clintcurtis@clintcurtis.com wrote:

> If you slice them up, you lose the integrity of the data. Who does the
> slicing? Who distributes the sliced up records? How can an interested
> party verify the results since they have no other races to show trends
> or compare exit polls?. At that stage you are back to asking the public
> to blindly "trust The System". How is that better than Deibold? A full
> review at most would show a voting trend. It would not identify the
> voter.
>
>> -------- Original Message --------
>> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Should candidates challenge elections?
>> From: Ron Crane <voting@lastland.net>
>> Date: Wed, May 18, 2005 7:43 pm
>> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
>> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
>>
>> I'm all for rooting out fraud. But I am also concerned that some
>> approaches to doing so may have the effect of disadvantaging
>> unpopular
>> candidates or parties. America chose the secret ballot mainly to
>> reduce
>> coercion, and we should be careful about compromising that ballot,
>> especially for those who already are on the margins. Again, I have no
>> problem with making the votes public, as long as they're sliced up to
>> remove any association between voters and votes.
>>
>> -R
>>
>> On May 18, 2005, at 4:13 PM, clintcurtis@clintcurtis.com wrote:
>>
>>> Anything less than an open system lends itself to fraud. At would be
>>> a
>>> rare occasion where the winner would bother to research the vote.
>>> Even
>>> losing candidates are overwhelmed by attempting a recount. It is more
>>> in the purview of statisticians and interest groups.
>>>
>>>> -------- Original Message --------
>>>> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Should candidates challenge elections?
>>>> From: Ron Crane <voting@lastland.net>
>>>> Date: Tue, May 17, 2005 10:12 pm
>>>> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
>>>> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
>>>>
>>>> Making whole ballots public creates a significant potential for
>>>> coercion. Imagine a small town (or small precinct) in which the
>>>> ballot
>>>> lists two races: state rep and sheriff. In this jurisdiction there
>>>> are
>>>> a few homes with "Green Party" signs on their lawns. Their owners
>>>> voted
>>>> for the Green candidate for state rep and against the current
>>>> sheriff.
>>>> No one else in the jurisdiction voted Green. Now imagine the
>>>> sheriff's
>>>> a bit vindictive.
>>>>
>>>> Ick.
>>>>
>>>> Slicing the ballots into strips, each showing an individual race,
>>>> would
>>>> fix this problem.
>>>>
>>>> -R
>>>>
>>>> On May 17, 2005, at 5:54 PM, clintcurtis@clintcurtis.com wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Beyond just the random issue, we should insist that the votes be
>>>>> publicly available to anyone who wished to see them. That would
>>>>> take
>>>>> the stigma out of the recount process and make sure that the votes
>>>>> were
>>>>> properly tabulated. Property tax records as well as most public
>>>>> documents are publicly available to anyone who shows an interest in
>>>>> their information. Voting records should definitely be considered
>>>>> public documents. Providing a second receipt which could be stored
>>>>> as
>>>>> public record should allow such access.
>>>>>
>>>>> Clint Curtis
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> -------- Original Message --------
>>>>>> Subject: [OVC-discuss] Should candidates challenge elections?
>>>>>> From: Stephanie Frank Singer <sfsinger@campaignscientific.com>
>>>>>> Date: Tue, May 17, 2005 7:01 pm
>>>>>> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
>>>>>> <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'll put my two cents in for random. And we should make it clear
>>>>>> what
>>>>>> "random" really means. Otherwise people often mistake "random"
>>>>>> for
>>>>>> "mostly evenly distributed" which is not a synonym at all!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It's a mistake to rely on candidates. Consider Joe Hoeffel, who
>>>>>> ran
>>>>>> against Specter in PA for Senate in 2004. He would have a lot to
>>>>>> gain
>>>>>> if fraud were proved, as he would either be a Senator now, or
>>>>>> folks
>>>>>> would have to recognize that he came from nowhere to be
>>>>>> neck-and-neck
>>>>>> with a well-established incumbent, in which case he would be
>>>>>> considered
>>>>>> a candidate to reckon with (which he isn't). But it's not worth
>>>>>> risking the "troublemaker," "sore loser" labels that he faces for
>>>>>> complaining. It's not realistic to depend on candidates (or
>>>>>> anyone
>>>>>> else) to work against their own perceptions of their own
>>>>>> self-interest.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Here's another tack: not only do I, as a PA resident, have an
>>>>>> interest
>>>>>> in the integrity of PA elections, I have an interest in the
>>>>>> integrity
>>>>>> of each other state's elections, because of Amendment 14, Section
>>>>>> 2
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> the Constitution. If enough voters were disenfranchised in, say,
>>>>>> Texas, then the Consitution guarantees that the Texas delegations
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> the Electoral College and the US House of Reps should both shrink,
>>>>>> which gives my electors and reps more clout!
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On May 17, 2005, at 6:40 PM, Ron Crane wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Whatever the process, it has to be transparent, established
>>>>>>> before
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> elections in which it is applied, and either (a) completely
>>>>>>> unbiased
>>>>>>> (random) or (b) open to *all* partisan inputs, including those of
>>>>>>> any
>>>>>>> member of the public. We cannot rely on the candidates to do the
>>>>>>> job.
>>>>>>> Just off the cuff, I prefer publicly-witnessed random choice,
>>>>>>> since
>>>>>>> it's easy for the public to understand and to verify, and it's
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> so
>>>>>>> open to the exercise of discretion, and it's not so open to
>>>>>>> manipulation via uneven (or unevenly-applied) bureaucratic
>>>>>>> obstacles,
>>>>>>> such as application fees, etc.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> -R
>>>>>>>
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:41 2005

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