Re: Fwd: [Votingtech] AVANTE on VVPR Implementation - A WP

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Sat Nov 29 2003 - 14:15:55 CST

This is a product of monumental stupidity. They want to make a case for
using a $900 hammer where a hammer is not the appropriate tool anyway.

Any jurisdictions that buy this crap should have all the officials involved
fired/recalled or run out of town -- tarred and feathered.

There are so many problems with this approach, it's difficult to know where
to start. For one thing, the purpose of the paper just isn't clear. Is it
the real ballot? Apparently not. You vote when you punch the "CAST BALLOT"
button on the DRE. The OVC system is clear on this point. When you punch
the "PRINT MY BALLOT" button, you are not casting your vote. You get the
"OFFICIAL BALLOT" out of the printer. You vote by dropping the OFFICIAL
BALLOT in the ballot box.

This part is patently absurd:

> . AVANTE believes that it is even more critical that
> visually impaired voters be read back their vote on
> paper so that they too can be assured that the vote
> is cast and recorded as he/she intended.
>

Saltman says, "such a printout is a sop to the layperson ignorant of the
inner workings of computers."

(see #7 here)
http://www.fairvote.org/administration/papertrail.rtf

You cannot verify the vote by listening to your selections read back on the
machine where you indicated your selections. All you are getting is an
indication that the machine knows what selections you intended. This may or
may not have anything to do with how the vote is recorded.

If you can't read the paper ballot, the only way to verify what's on the
paper is to have the selections read back on a machine that has no
connection to the machine on which you indicated your selections and has no
other way to know about those selections.

In the above referenced Saltman paper, he goes on to say, "There must be
better ways of providing the necessary confidence to the voters. It is the
intention of this paper to propose some." In the next part #8, Saltman
describes a system where the voter get the ballot verified on an
"independently programmed" device. And, he says, "A system such as this has
been proposed by Alan Dechert for use in California."

For more on what Salman has had to say about this, see this letter he wrote
in 2001:

http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/ContentFrame/Docs/SaltmanLetterToBerdahl.asp

In summary, Avante urges customers to spend $5,500 on an invalid system.
The OVC will provide a valid one for a small fraction of the cost.

Alan D.

> Hi all,
>
> The following is a white paper on VVPAT as implemented by Avante. FYI.
>
> Dennis Paull
>
....

> Avante has written a white paper on how to implement VVPR.
>
> It can be found at
http://www.aitechnology.com/votetrakker2/On%20the%20voter%20verifiable%20paper%20record%20FINAL.pdf
>
> Comments are sought and are welcome.
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:11 2003

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