Re: Focus on Rights

From: Nancy Tobi <nancy_dot_tobi_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sun Nov 11 2007 - 10:28:28 CST

Arthur,

The idea of using technology to supplement - as a tool for checks and
balances - is a reasonable one, and one that I think would be fairly
universally embraced. The role of technology in elections must be clearly
defined, and this is something that has never happened in the greater
elections communities.

But this is something the citizen's movement for election integrity is
asking now. We have learned the hard way the costs of blind acceptance of
technology in elections, the costs of elevating technologists to the role of
arbiters of our democracy, the costs of technologizing and complexifying our
elections without question.

But if we stop a moment to just ask the question: "does technology belong in
our elections, and if so, in what form?" then we have come a long way.

To answer this question, we have to return to the basic parameters and
criteria for real democratic elections. This is simple and is summed up in
two words: *citizen oversight*.

Not expert oversight. Not computer oversight. Just plain and simple citizen
oversight.

If you find a way to use technology in elections that complies with this
requirement for democratic election, you will have no complaints from
anyone.

Best,

Nancy

On Nov 11, 2007 9:09 AM, Arthur Keller <voting@kellers.org> wrote:

> At 8:03 AM -0500 11/30/07, Arlene Montemarano wrote:
> >The protection of our fragile rights should always the primary
> >point of all that we do.
>
> The question boils down to how we best safeguard those rights. If
> you had the choice of hand-counted paper ballots only vs. paper
> ballots that were electronically scanned in the precinct when the
> voter casts the ballot and then hand counted at the end of the day
> (i.e., both electronic and hand counts), which would you prefer?
> (Assume the electronic counts are not released until the hand counts
> are made.) Now suppose that the electronic scanner kept an image
> copy of the ballot and that anyone could get a copy of all of those
> images and hand or machine count those images to compare them to the
> official vote count, would that be a good thing or a bad thing? Do
> you oppose the inclusion of electronic systems if they supplement
> rather than replace hand counting? Would you accept the idea that
> the combination of electronic systems and hand counting can be more
> secure and fraud or tamper resistent than hand counting alone?
>
> Best regards,
> Arthur
>
> --
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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 Fri Nov 30 23:17:13 2007

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