Re: Touchscreens for Voting Machines

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Nov 03 2006 - 17:07:03 CST

On 11/3/06, Ron Crane <> wrote:
> Douglas W. Jones wrote:
> On Nov 2, 2006, at 1:16 PM, Arthur Keller wrote:
> 1. All touchscreen voting machines should allow recalibration in the
> middle of a ballot session. This way, the voter can complete the
> process correctly.
> I'd hate for this to involve the pollworker coming anywhere near the
> voting booth.
> So, what we need is a recalibration operation that is trivial for the
> voter. One way to do this is to routinely have displays that call for
> the voter to touch corners of the display (put the next button on the
> lower left corner, the back button on the upper right, for example), and
> take pokes at those buttons as calibration hints.
> I'd hate for many voters accidentally to invoke this mode, or to be tricked
> into invoking it -- or for someone to program the machines automatically to
> invoke it under certain conditions.
> Many changes intended to "fix" touchscreens introduce further security
> holes.

It would seem, if each touchscreen makes each voter scroll through
some directions at the beginning, that there might be automatic
calibration that could be done without even exposing the voter to
anything... obviously, I haven't thought this through... but imagine
developing a method where the touchscreen automatically accommodated
the voter's touch-style via some process that was invisible to them.
And then, it could also invoke when someone hit the "help" button. It
would have to be done carefully so as not to cause confusion, but it
seems it could be done well. Would make a great technical contribution
and paper. (unless it already exists) -Joe

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
PhD Student, UC Berkeley, School of Information
OVC-discuss mailing list
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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:04 2006

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