Fwd: Should candidates challenge elections?

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 15:59:56 CDT

On May 19, 2005, at 4:35 PM, clintcurtis@clintcurtis.com wrote:
> What is missing is the trends. In Ohio there
> were several instances of the lesser Democratic candidates receiving
> votes porportionate to what was expected while Kerry received far
> fewer.

Divided ballot would still let you detect this. We would still have
the numbers of candidate stubs to compare.

Btw. I think you shouldn't use the term "torn up ballots." I know you
mean the perforation idea; but someone stumbling across it might think
we're talking about putting them through a paper shredder to destroy
the content, rather than divide the ballot into contest portions.

> that a large numbers of voters stood in line to vote for a county judge
> but voted in no other race, including the Presidential race.

Indeed, divided ballots would love this information. As much as
statisticians might like that information, I'm not sure it is actually
obligatory to reveal it though.

Statisticians would also probably enjoy working with the age, income,
religious, and blood type of the voter of each ballot. Who knows what
we might correlate; quite possibly something interesting.

At a certain point--i.e. very quickly--we need to start worrying about
preserving anonymity more than about the transparency of individual
ballot contents. Of course I don't mean the transparency of a ballot
to the voter herself, nor of the procedure rules of the process. But
there is no public "right to know" everything about a ballot. For
example, the absolutely IS NOT a right to know what time of day a
particular ballot was cast. Revealing that is a SERIOUS compromise of
anonymity (the covert videotape attack, or even just the sign-in
sheet). And there is absolutely NOT a right to know that a given
ballot was cast using blind-assistive technology (even if knowing that
might tell us something about the quality/reliability of that
interface). Same reasons.

In a sense, complete transparency is best served by every voter signing
her ballot, and attaching a DNA sample for complete verifiability. It
sure would let statisticians and challengers verify each ballot, huh?

The right kind of transparency is about PROCESS not CONTENT, to put it
relatively concisely.

Yours, David...

---
Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food
from the bellies of the hungry; books from the hands of the
uneducated; technology from the underdeveloped; and putting
advocates of freedom in prisons.  Intellectual property is
to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:43 2005

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