Re: Should candidates challenge elections?

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 13:25:24 CDT

Ok, let me do my Ed Kennedy/Socrates impression here:

On May 19, 2005, at 2:00 PM, clintcurtis@clintcurtis.com wrote:
> The lock may not stop working. But the ability to reproduce results of
> the election is lost to the public. I may be wrong, but the second
> receipt that is open to the public is one of the most important parts
> of open voting.

I cannot understand what transparency is lost by a perforation on a
paper ballot. Explain it to me slowly so I can figure it out.

Let's say a paper ballot looks like the below (in my crude ASCII art
version):

+-----------------+-----------------+
| John Doe | Sally Smith |
| President | Mayor |
+-----------------+-----------------+
| Shin Wu | Maria Gomez |
| Senator | Representative |
+-----------------+-----------------+

A voter gets this ballot, looks at it, walks to the ballot box, and
drops it in. Later on, under watchful eyes of neutral observers, some
poll workers tear along the perforations (roughly indicated by the
dash-y things in my picture). Each vote slip is saved as a permanent
record, is later available to the public, and so on.

What did we lose, exactly, by not letting elected mayor Mallory Jones
not find out that the folks with the "Gomez: Liberatarian for
Representative" sign on their lawn voted Smith for Mayor?

Now the only remotely sensible explanation I can figure out here is
that there is a ballot-id at the top of the ballot, and that gets torn
off. And then that ballot-id is not correlative with the electronic
ballot image (EBI) anymore. I'm not exactly gung ho about ballot-ids,
regardless of the perforation thing. But there is a minor point there.
  E.g. the ballot actually was:

+-----------------+-----------------+
| Ballot-Id: 12345 |
+-----------------+-----------------+
| John Doe | Sally Smith |
| President | Mayor |
+-----------------+-----------------+
| Shin Wu | Maria Gomez |
| Senator | Representative |
+-----------------+-----------------+

Assuming you are pro-ballot-id, the solution to this "problem" is
trivial. Don't use one master random ballot-id, but several random
contest-ids. E.g.:

+-----------------+-----------------+
| Cid: 489872309 | Cid: 20487149 |
| John Doe | Sally Smith |
| President | Mayor |
+-----------------+-----------------+
| Cid: 45-908453 | Cid: 098452-9 |
| Shin Wu | Maria Gomez |
| Senator | Representative |
+-----------------+-----------------+

If you like this, just store separate EBIs for each contest, rather
than for whole ballots.

So what am I completely missing here?

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:42 2005

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