Re: What ifs

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Sun Nov 09 2003 - 00:58:05 CST

Jan,
> What to do in case of a paper jam in the printer? How can one ensure
> the secrecy of the vote, since one cannot expect the voter to clean
> out the jammed paper herself?
>
Spoken like a true visionary. In the forum on the 26th, once I made the
point to Shawn Casey O'Brien (disabled activist) that our ballot system
would enable vision-impaired voters to verify their ballot in privacy, he
latched on to the "what if the printer jams" mantra.

This is a reasonable concern, but not a major obstacle. Good laser printers
rarely jam with such a simple printing task. The general answer is that
we'd have procedures in place to replace the printer on-the-spot without
opening it.

> What should be done if a voter walks away in the middle of the voting
> process (both usual and visual-impaired interface)?
>
I suppose the software should have some sort of kill switch short of some
MS-type Ctrl-Alt-Del action.

Keep in mind there are all sorts of what-ifs that happen in polling places
as elections are currently conducted. Various jurisdictions has various
procedures in place to deal with these situations. And when things happen
not covered in the procedures -- or, more likely, the pollworker doesn't
know the procedure well enough -- they deal with it.

These would be things to look at in some detail when developing the
production system. We don't need to spend much time on these types of
scenarios for the demo -- although we need some simple answers for questions
that may be asked. The general answer goes something like this, "There are
lots of errors possible -- human and machine -- that are possible with the
current system. Our system won't eliminate all possible errors, but will be
much more reliable overall. As part of the development of the production
system, procedures will be developed to handle these errors."

Alan D.

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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:02 2003

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