Re: Ballot Reconciliation Procedure

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Thu Nov 27 2003 - 12:16:36 CST

|> The roster count and the ballot count NEVER match!
|I don't know if it's always done the way I have noticed they do it at
|polling places, but I'm always asked to sign the roster first then go vote.
|I have been proposing a check-in and check-out procedure.

I'm sure this would greatly reduce the gap between ballots and check-ins.
But it might simply push the gap to one between check-in and check-out.
Actually, it creates three gaps, where:

    Check-in >= XML ballot >= Paper ballot >= Check-out

Or maybe the last two could sometimes be reversed.

I have had the informal understanding that the existing check-in
procedure was a matter of regulation (and therefore, we cannot simply
declare a new check-out step). But I don't have any actual knowledge
about why it's done that way, it might only be convention. However,
adding a step is likely to make the full "voting process" take a little
longer, and thereby make some voters unhappy (or make them not comply
with the full procedure).

FWIW, the polling places I've seen certainly do not have the extra poll
workers to "escort" each voter from a ballot booth to a check-out desk.
There are usually only enough volunteers to staff the check-in desk,
plus one to watch the ballot box (and at least where I vote, it pretty
much is three 70 y.o.s that make up these poll workers).

Btw. All that said, I agree that there is no great conceptual difficulty
in reconciling the counts. What the elections officers do with the
various counts isn't entirely up to us, but simply listing, e.g.:

    320 XML ballots
    300 Paper ballots
    5 Test ballots
    10 Spoiled ballots
    5 Gap (missing) ballots

is straightforward enough.

Yours, David...

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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:10 2003

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