RE: Handling misconducted elections. Ballot box design.

From: Keith Copenhagen <k_at_copetech_dot_com>
Date: Wed Nov 24 2004 - 16:11:19 CST

Hi Charlie,
As you find the answer to your question, please summarize it in the OVC
Perhaps under considerations/security.
My personal opinion (without the benefit of the archive, so worth what
you paid for it), is that we must expect problems and minimize exposure
to them. I'm hoping for a system that supports :
- (a) absentee pencil marked re-printed ballots on-demand, (b) print on
demand un-marked ballots, (c) evoting machines that mark a preprinted or
(d) print a completed ballot.
   All ballots equal by the time they hit the ballot box. Also
supporting postal absentee ballots.
   In case of equipment failure, or overwhelming lines we can backup to
a pencil based system (pencil marked ballots supported by BVA).
- Clear definition and hierarchy of what constitutes a vote, an audit
and triggers a recount, or a revote.
   I think the singular moment of voting is placing of the paper ballot
into the ballot box slot, The audit trails, worker signatures counts and
statistics should only be used to build confidence in the paper record.
   The ballot needs to be qualified by voter signature / or marked with
(a somewhat obfuscated) provisional status tracer.
   I'd like to scan/count that ballot on the way into the bottom of the
box and collect 5 - 10 together to provide some voter anonymity,
   the paper ballot always the vote of record. But as a backup
canvassing may have to wait for the ballot box to return from the
precinct, in a minimum cost scenario.
   If confidence in the paper ballots is lost, then the election board
could either trust the electronic record (presumably trustable due to
redundant procedures and independent certified audit logs), or call for
another election.
I got referred back to the archives when I asked if there was a place
for statistics in the OVC vision, I'll move that summary to the wiki
when I get a chance.
-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:]On Behalf Of Edmund R.
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: Handling misconducted elections. Ballot
box design.

Hello Charlie: . Correspondance
That's a good question anytime. Yes, we've discussed it in the last
year however, I'm not sure what key words to look at. Probable key
words include; ballot issues, canvassing, and Doug Jones. I think that
the main point was that election officials should engage their brains
and not their partisan passions. Also if the car taking the ballot box
to election central was hit with a RPG, the cd or memory stick is more
likely to survive than the paper ballot. I think numeric consistency
between the rolls and the votes counts for more than paper versus
plastic. Another point is that this could be decided by case law.
I can't help noticing in other countries, especially when the UN is
involved in conducting the election, that clear plastic boxes (like
storage containers) are used. I think that this is a model worth
considering. There is obviously a privacy issue. Yes, ballots could be
folded but the optical scanned machine I used a few weeks ago output the
scanned ballots directly into the cardboard ballot box we used. I'm
sure it could be worked out somehow. No, I don't want to have a
fingernail painted black to keep from voting twice. However, if the US
continues to become more polarized, election officials might have to
consider it.
Thanks, Ed Kennedy

charlie strauss <> wrote:
One of the signs of a robust system is not just that has limited
opportunity for error but that it can recover gracefully. Has OVC
given thought to how deal with problems that occur when its procedures
are not followed or large events happen.

For example, suppose an election is run and there are massive, not
small, difference in the electronic and paper records during the
reconcilation process. What should be the policy short of declaring a
miss-election and re-doing it. Presumably this should be based on
common sense and not dogma like "the paper records win in every
dispute". What if for example, for some reason the paper record were
leaving out an entire race and no one caught it till way late in the
system. Surely we would want to use the electronic records. Of course
then at least have the reconcilation process to valida! te the existence
of each electronic record.

If a single paper ballot shows up without an electronic record how is
it considered? What if hundreds do, and the paper totals agree better
with the number of voters than the electroinc ones?

Is this worked out?

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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:39 2004

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