Re: BBV FOIA requests

From: Teresa Hommel <tahommel_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Tue Nov 16 2004 - 22:45:19 CST

I wasn't implying that anyone in OVC is lazy, and I haven't seen
anything in any OVC email that suggests that anyone is. (And here in NY
we also have a long election day, 6AM to 9PM, and it is exhausting. We
don't have enough poll workers, and some of them are not very alert or
diligent or well-trained or knowledgeable.) But I am wary of suggesting
that if "the people" -- average citizens -- are not participating in
sufficent numbers to maintain a democracy, we can turn over to a
computer the tasks that people should be doing. I wonder why lots of
unemployeed people didn't work the election. I wonder why lots of people
I know didn't work the election. I wonder why some people who I know are
intensely interested in some issues did not work the election.


Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:

> Hello Teresa:
> Having been a poll worker, I agree completely with Arthur. I know
> that on November 2nd, 2004, I worked 0600 to 2200 and was very tired
> by the close of the polls. Also, we had 15 races and 25 local and
> statewide propositions. With respect to both you and David, I urge
> both of you to come to Californa and be a poll worker before
> apparently implying we're somehow lazy. Also, solely in my own
> opinion, this would seem to be outside of the scope of the OVC
> mission. There are dozens of other problems about voting that need to
> be solved. For example, the Secretary of State, County Registrars,
> associated staff and similar should be career civil servants.
> However, I've decided that is not where I'm going to put my energies.
> OVC is here to provide solution to a subset of all the problems
> associated with elections (again, solely in my opinion).
> Thanks, Ed Kennedy
> Thanks, Ed Kennedy
> Arthur Keller <> wrote:
> 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 serv! ants 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" an! d "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 Har! ris, 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...
> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
> tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
> --
> 10777 Bendigo Cove
> San Diego, CA 92126-2510
> "We must all cultivate our gardens." Candide-Voltaire

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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:34 2004

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