Re: suggested proposals for federal election integrity legislation

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Tue Nov 28 2006 - 01:04:26 CST

See my most recent post on the requirements for OVC Listed, which I
intend indicate what "publicly disclosed software" means.

At 11:03 AM -0700 11/26/06, Kathy Dopp wrote:
>I still need a lot of help on this fairly quickly.
>With help from a few people, including Stephanie Singer, Ed Kennedy
>and others, here is a revised list without the "Detailed comments"
>section. Stephanie suggested moving the "Whys" and "Hows" into a
>"Detailed comments" section. I still need help compiling a list of
>experts for each of the 13 items and writing a sentence or two for
>the "Detailed comments" section. A few other people have volunteered
>to make revisions today to fix up the section requiring better
>qualifications for the US EAC TGDC and a for software disclosure for
>voting systems, and a way to avoid repeating the attributes.
>Please, I am interested in specific suggestions to specific items.
>Thank you very much. I am happy to send the complete word doc to
>anyone who wants to help with the "Detailed comments" section.
>Thank you. I would eventually like to send a version of this to all
>US congressional reps and senators - with, if possible, list of
>voting activists who agree with it, but I need a quick version by
>Tuesday to go to a powerful Congressman via a personal friend of
>mine (not a voting activist).
>Guidelines for Federal Legislation
>to Ensure the Integrity of the Vote Count
>Below are recommendations for legislation to preserve the integrity
>of our democracy. These recommendations are the result of detailed
>discussions with the foremost election integrity experts in the US,
>over a period of several months. They are complex and technical
>because counting votes is a complex process with many
>vulnerabilities. Protecting the vote count is not a simple matter.
>In the interest of brevity, we have omitted many technical details.
>Below the list of recommendations are more detailed comments, and
>the name and contact information of experts who can provide details
>and answer questions - please don't hesitate to ask.
>1. Require independent, transparent, verifiable, scientific
>manual audits of all machine vote counts sufficient to ensure that
>electronically counted election outcomes are correct.

Could you operationalize this. Do you want a 95% confidence
requirement under some measure?

>2. Require routine independent, transparent, verifiable reports
>on machine allocation, equipment failure and breakdown, undervote,
>overvote, and uncounted ballot rates, absentee and provisional
>ballot & voter registration handling, and other crucial measures of
>voter services.

Include the number of registered voters assigned to that polling
location, whether it represents one or more precincts (if more, how
many). Also include reports on whether supplies ran out, and maximum
wait time for voting.

>3. Provide funds for upgrading voting systems for jurisdictions
>that have un-auditable voting systems, but fund only
>"fully-auditable" voting systems where all voters without
>disabilities directly record their own votes on paper, so that the
>paper record of votes has been verified.

"Directly record" is ambiguous. Do you mean "record votes on a paper
ballot that is voter-verified"?

>4. Provide funds for conducting independent, transparent,
>verifiable, sufficient, scientific, manual audits of machine vote
>counts and voter services in all elections.

Federal elections?

>5. Teeth - Do not swear in Congressional Members or certify
>Presidential electors from states that have disenfranchised their
>voters by failing to audit transparently or have failed to submit
>the required auditable, audit, and voter service reports prior to
>certifying their own election results.

Certainly do not swear in anyone unless the vote totals are
certified, and after any recounts.

>6. Require election officials to make publicly available all
>election data and records in original paper and electronic form that
>would reveal fraud or errors in elections.

Require that any paper record or paper ballot be sufficiently sturdy
in form and marking to support handling for recounts and audits for a
minimum of 22 months.

>7. Create a new database system for logging and tabulating
>voters' complaints in elections and for collecting all required
>auditable, audit and voter service reports; and for publicly posting
>all states' reports on the Internet.
>8. Require state (and county) election officials to submit all
>required auditable, audit and voter service reports to the US GAO.
>9. Mandate publicly disclosed software for all voting systems.

See OVC Listed proposal.

>10. Outlaw any network connections to, and or wireless capability
>in, voting equipment and prohibit voting through any network
>connection or by faxing ballots to any office other than the local
>election office.

I assume you mean Wide Area Network connection. Local Area Networks
within a polling place or county elections office is ok if it is not
connected to any offsite network.

Do allow secure connections for vote reporting between county central
and satellite election reporting locations or between county central
and state central.

>11. Require qualified credentialed persons to staff the EAC's
>technical guideline development committee.

Include representation from experts in databases, security, auditing,
elections, usability (for both able bodied and for visually/auditory
impaired), and reporting systems/

>12. Require jurisdictions to allow representatives of
>non-partisan organizations or any well-behaved citizens to observe
>close-up or by verifiable, transparent close-up video, all aspects
>of elections

all aspects of elections what? Administration? Tallying and
reporting? Recount? Do you want the process to be videotaped?

>13. Create a qualified degreed U.S. Vote Count Audit and Recount
>Committee subcommittee whose functions include approving state
>election audit and recount procedures and policies for election
>audits and voter service data reporting to detect and correct voter

There should be items related to no onerous citizen requirements for
these items of enfranchisement process.

1. Voter registration. No onerous paper weight requirements. Penalty
to *fraudulently* losing registration forms or changing them prior to
2. Voter identification to vote, state issued ID not required, but
any reasonable proof of residency.
3. Anyone who requests a paper ballot should be given one that can be
tallied using the normal tallying process.
4. Voter sign in system must be a paper system, not an electronic one
subject to crashes or network failure.
5. It must not be possible to determine the selections made in a
provisional ballot unless that ballot is approved for counting.
6. No one other than the voter or a non-partisan election official
(or a postal clerk) may make any marks on a ballot envelope, except
that an authorized person who returns a ballot to a polling place may
sign it as required by the jurisdiction.
7. Penalties for systematically challenging voters.
8. Consider how voter roles may be scrubbed for people who moved,
died, or are convicted of crimes.
9. Consider how voter registrations are verified against other
databases. Not everyone has a drivers license or state issued ID
card. Sometimes it is unclear what is a middle name or what is a
compound last name. In some foreign names, the family name is first
not last. A flexible matching system for names should deal with such

Feel free to use mention my availability to discuss these issues
further. My affiliation is Information Systems and Technology
Management, Baskin School of Engineering, University of California,
Santa Cruz; and a Founder and Board Member, Open Voting Consortium.

Best regards,

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 Thu Nov 30 23:17:14 2006

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