Re: suggested proposals for federal election integrity legislation

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Nov 30 2006 - 18:55:53 CST

> Seems that if the hand count
> is the count of record, why even bother with all the machinery. Also,
> if the machine count is the count of record, why do a full hand count as
> well.
Ginny, I highly recommend that you go back and read relevant discussions on
this topic. It's not quite either/or as you imply with your question. With
the ballot printer design, the summary paper ballot is the fundamental
representation of the vote. You also have the electronic record in the form
of electronic ballot images (EBIs). The "count of record" as you put it,
comes from a mechanized tally arrived at by running the paper ballots
through a scanner. The tally is verified by checking against the EBIs
(software routine) AND by spot checks by hand. Ordinarily, a complete hand
count would not be necessary. If hand spot checks reveal a problem or the
electronic record (the EBIs) was somehow lost, then a complete hand count
might be needed.

If the system is well designed and implemented, a complete hand count should
never be needed. Unlike handmarked ballots, there should never be any voter
intent issues with computer generated summary paper ballots.

Alan D.

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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:18 2006

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