Re: BBV FOIA requests

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Tue Nov 16 2004 - 18:14:38 CST

Teresa, I don't know where you live, but in California we regularly
have several dozen things on a ballot to vote on. In San Francisco,
there are often more.

It is hard enough getting enough qualified poll workers, let alone
ballot counters.

It's important to be able to count the paper ballots by hand, but
that does not necessarily mean that every ballot should be counted by
hand. It should be sufficient to hand count enough precincts so that
if there is a problem with vote tallying, it will be detected with a
high enough statistical likelihood.

Best regards,
Arthur

At 1:55 PM -0500 11/16/04, Teresa Hommel wrote:
>The point is to restore democracy in the USA. The point is that
>whoever runs the election controls the outcome. If the people
>conduct their own elections, with assistance of public servants in
>Boards of Elections, then the people will control the outcome. If
>computers conduct elections, then whoever controls the computers
>will control the outcome. Elections can't be "trust-me" processes
>and still retain integrity for long. Voters who trust Diebold or OVC
>or any other person/entity, are all in the same boat--they
>participate in a ritual, but have abdicated their proper role of
>control via participation and oversight. OVC's strength is to use
>computers in a way that does not displace people from their central
>role of being able to control the election. As soon as we trust the
>"good" computer people such as OVC rather than the "bad" computer
>people such as paperless DRE vendors, we are still trusting and
>forgetting what democracy is.
>
>Democracy is, in Abe Lincoln's words, "Government of the people, by
>the people, for the people." If it is not "of" and "by" it won't be
>"for."
>
>This is all to say, what is wrong with hand-marked hand-counted
>paper ballots, with computerized ballot-printing or ballot-marking
>machines (such as from OVC) for voters who cannot directly,
>personally mark their paper ballot? What is wrong with
>hand-counting, other than that not enough competent dedicated people
>participate in the conduct of elections these days?
>
>Teresa Hommel
>
>Josef Stalin: "It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes!"
>Anastasio Samoza: "You won the vote, but I won the count."
>Boss Tweed: "As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?"
>
>
>
>David Mertz wrote:
>
>>On Nov 8, 2004, at 8:20 AM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
>>
>>>position is that all of America should return to handcounted paper ballot
>>>and use NO electronic counting methods at all.
>>>
>>
>>Y'know, there are a lot worse positions to hold than this! I'm not
>>saying Harris actually holds it, but it's -not- a terrible idea by
>>itself.
>>
>>I have myself consistently held the position that while Electronic
>>Ballot Printers/Markers (to use Arthur's IEEE P-1583 terms) have
>>some potential advantages, I still am 100% happy with the wonderful
>>hand-counted pencil-marked paper ballots in my county. These hand
>>counts are always performed promptly and accurately at each polling
>>place, right after close. Admittedly, we're a fairly honest and
>>competent sort here in western New England.
>>
>>I also don't buy that large cities make this same technique
>>infeasible. Even in NYC, each precinct is moderately sized. It's
>>not like a half-dozen election workers have to count all 4 million
>>ballots (or whatever NYC casts). Instead, at each precinct, these
>>half-dozen election workers would count a few hundred (maybe a
>>thousand, tops) ballots, and report the results to higher levels.
>>Through the miracle of adding machines, these results can be
>>combined relatively easily.
>>
>>OVC's design -does- have some good things to it: multi-lingual;
>>blind-accessible; large-fonts if needed; prevention of overvotes
>>and unintentional undervotes; accommodation mobility disabled
>>voters; etc. Plain old paper and pencil is weaker in these areas.
>>But I still think of OVC as largely just a way to make the
>>"computers are cool" freight train barrel down less harmful tracks
>>than those leading to proprietary DREs. Not really something
>>inherently necessary to start with.
>>
>>However, I WILL say this about Harris, and Dill, and Mercuri, and a
>>number of others (Avi Rubin slightly):
>>
>> Voting integrity activists hitherto have only exposed the problems
>> in electronic voting machines, the point, however, is to FIX them!
>>
>>Or in other words, saying Diebold machines are badly done is
>>fine... let's start talking about building machines that are done
>>right (paper ballot, open source, security well planned).
>>
>>Yours, David...

-- 
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Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:33 2004

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