Re: [OVC-discuss] Can we talk details about adding Humboldt-style scanning to the OVC project?

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin@gmail.com>
Date: Thu May 28 2009 - 01:20:07 CDT

On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 12:07 PM, Arthur Keller <voting@kellers.org> wrote:
> My preference is to scan and publish the ballot at point of entry into the
> system.  For regular in-precinct ballots, that's at the precinct.  For
> vote-by-mail ballots (including those dropped off at the polls) and for
> provisionals, that's centrally.

+1

> If we can figure out how to get it done at reasonable cost, I'd like the
> precinct-based optical scanners to affix tracking numbers, as well as the
> central scanners.
>
> I can also see procedures where vote-by-mail voters can go to an Internet
> site and print a paper ballot with the voters selections customized to the
> voter's home precinct.  The ballot would then be mailed in with all the
> necessary signatures the usual way.  But the ballot would be counted last
> and treated as a provisional ballot, because there is the potential for
> duplicate ballots being mailed that way, as well as regular vote-by-mail
> ballots and/or in-precinct ballots.

Is duplication more likely with our system than with the current
systems for mail-in ballots? Is the concern that ballots printed on
plain paper are less secure than ballots printed on paper chosen for
the purpose and provided to voters individually?

It is necessary in either case to verify that only one envelope per
voter is accepted, in accordance with some legal standard. This has to
be done before opening the envelopes. Then the approved pile gets
opened and separated in a procedure designed to prevent matching them
up again, just as we are supposed to do now. All envelopes, duplicate
ballots, rejected ballots, etc. have to be preserved separately from
ballots being counted, at least until all possible legal challenges
and audits are completed.

Can we add further security elsewhere in a system for on-line ballot
selection and printing, without linking the voters to their votes?

> I think that this approach can reduce
> the delays for overseas and military voters, but in a safe manner.

+1

It deals with the problem of ballots lost or delayed in the mail, or
never sent, and with addressing errors.

> I do
> believe all such ballots must be received by the close of the polls in
> election day, as is the case for any ballot in California.
>
> (Late ballots reminds me of the joke: http://www.ahajokes.com/whoami.html )
>
> Best regards,
> Arthur
>
> At 10:30 AM -0700 5/25/09, Jim March wrote:
>>
>> Arthur, what's your thoughts on precinct-scanning (graphical scans
>> that is) versus taking precinct ballots back to be centrally counted?

They should be counted both ways.

>> There's obviously merit both ways.  Chain of custody is better
>> protected doing it at the precinct, at a moderate (sub-$300) hardware
>> cost and (arguably) a bit more pollworker complexity.
>>
>> Doing it centrally, we can get ID stamps put on them as they're scanned.

What happened to the unique ID numbers we were going to assign, bar
code, and print in each machine?

> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>
> Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
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-- 
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Received on Sun May 31 23:17:07 2009

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