Re: Voting with digital pen

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon May 21 2007 - 14:09:25 CDT

-----Original Message-----

>On May 21, 2007, at 11:01 AM, Charlie Strauss wrote:
>
>> This is a great idea. I especially like that the pen discovers it's
>> location rather than using a rigid frame to establish registration.
>
>This has some dangers. My eye can't read the coding of the registration
>marks, so misprints would be invisible to a human and could lead to
>very bad electronic tabulation. Audits, of course, can be done, but you
>really want a system where the print can be checked by the voter's own
>eyeball.

granted.
But I'll re-emphasize what I said before. Some sort of positive feedback upon a successful read would probably be sufficient. the pen could go ding or light up or vibrate upon a successful read.

The invisible marks could be given big fat error correcting codes to prevent one pattern from being mistaken for another. Thus the real problem will be cases where the marks can't be read properly at all.

One could try to rely on the user noticing the pen did not vibrate because it could not read the marks. But it would be better to have a backup plan since one can't count on the voters to notice every time.

Such non-reads can probably be caught since the pen will "know" the user is marking something it can't read. I'd bet that for most misprints the device could be programmed to recognize an attempted read from the visible marks. e.g. since it has a camera it can see it's marking in an oval even if it can't read the marks. Additionally it'd bet that under many kinds of printing errors the existence of the invisible marks will be detectable even if they are distorted and can't be read.

If none of that is acceptable then perhaps one needs to use a form holder so one can use an absolute positioning system for a secondary check on what the pen is marking.
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Received on Thu May 31 23:17:04 2007

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