Re: securing electronic ballots

From: Lori Flynn <lori_at_soe_dot_ucsc_dot_edu>
Date: Tue Nov 25 2003 - 23:28:21 CST

(In response to David Mertz:)
> Btw. With the EVM2003 system, a related forgetfullness is possible.
> Voters might forget to place the printed ballot in the ballot box.
> Their electronic ballot is still recorded on the machine, but only a
> subset of electronic ballots will be matched by corresponding printed
> ballots in the ballot boxes. Hopefully, this will generally be a large
> subset (98%+ say), but a certain discrepency rate must be expected.

I apologize in advance if I am adressing a solution previously rejected,
right now I am slowly making my way through old postings to this list and
may have missed it. (although I did search the archives for the word

I am curious why voters need to physically touch the ballot at all. What
I've heard about voting in Brazil (where 100% of the population is
required by law to vote at national elections, and where 100% of the last
presidential vote was electronic) is that a paper ballot is printed which
is visible behind glass to the voter. The voter verifies that indeed it
shows the correct choices made. Then the paper ballot drops (in front
of the voters' eyes and behind glass) into a locked box. Votes are summed
electronically. A friend from the city of Sao Paolo, Brazil says that
2-3% of the paper votes are counted (after voting is done and the
electronic votes have been totalled for a location) to check to make sure
that the fractions for each candidate in the electronic totals check out.
Of course, if there are allegations of electronic fraud, all 100% of the
paper ballots are right there to be counted.

> Placing cryptographic codes on the printed ballots allows us to assure
> that every such ballot is -legitimate-, hence preventing pre-printing of
> false ballots, and ballot-stuffing. But nothing -on- the sheet of paper
> can specifically document the fate of those pieces of paper we DO NOT
> have.
Paper ballots behind glass removes that problem.

> To my mind, what makes this question complicated is the same coercion
> issue mentioned above. If we really did think that any voter who failed
> to place a printed ballot in the box was simply forgetful,
No coercion since the voter *can't* take the ballot home.

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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:08 2003

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