Re: Focus on Rights

From: Fred McLain <mclain_at_zipcon_dot_net>
Date: Sun Nov 11 2007 - 16:02:16 CST

I am unfortunately in one of the areas that requires all ballots be
cast as "absentee" ballots, even though my former polling place is
within walking distance. Another aspect of this mail in system is
that it makes it very easy to coerce voters. For example, what would
prevent me from standing over the shoulder of my wife, voting age
children or employees and insisting they vote for my favored issues
and candidates? This a reason why we must ensure anonymous voting.

On Arthur's prior comment on software failures normally being binary,
that is true in the general case. However, it does not always apply
to software used to count votes. In these systems there are also
registration errors. For example, the well known touch screen
calibration problems. Over time, oils from people's fingers,
scratches and other types of wear on these system can change which
location on a screen is associated with a particular selection. A
lesser discussed problem also occurs with optical scanning systems.
Vibration for example can shift the optics in these systems such that
what originally was a vote for selection A becomes a vote for
selection B. Thus these systems can initially test out as accurate
but in use become inaccurate.

        -Fred-

On Nov 11, 2007, at 1:46 PM, Barbara Simons wrote:

> I agree, Arthur, that vote buying/selling is easy with vote-by-mail
> ballots. Mail ballots also open the door to coercion, to say
> nothing of
> outright vote fraud. So, in all respects mail ballots are worse than
> precinct based paper ballot voting, which is why I think mail ballots
> should be allowed only for people who truly need them.
>
> However, it's not clear to me that it is necessary to scan ballots in
> order to reduce the risk of fraud. I'm sure you agree that mandatory
> random manual statistically significant audits are key, not only to
> significantly reducing the risk of fraud but also for catching bugs in
> the technology. The audit could be televised live, videotaped,
> etc. If
> we had the right kind of audits, I don't think we'd need to scan in
> all
> the ballots and post them on the internet.
>
> Regards,
> Barbara
>
> Arthur Keller wrote:
>> Barbara, yes, I'm aware of that problem. Plus one can deliberately
>> make stray marks. But vote selling can easily occur with
>> vote-by-mail ballots anyway (unless you allow election day overrides
>> of vote-by-mail ballots). The question is how you compare
>> vote-selling risk vs. voting-system error or fraud risk.
>>
>> Best regards,
>> Arthur
>>
>> At 10:05 AM -0800 11/11/07, Barbara Simons wrote:
>>
>>> Hi, Arthur. One problem with scanning all the ballots and making
>>> those
>>> scans public is that it could facilitate vote selling, since the
>>> person
>>> selling his/her vote could make some highly unlikely set of
>>> choices on
>>> the ballot as a kind of signature.
>>> Regards,
>>> Barbara
>>>
>>> Arthur Keller 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?
>>>
>>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> OVC-discuss mailing list
> OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
> http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
> By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to
> release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the
> exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use,
> including publicly archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/
>

_______________________________________________
OVC-discuss mailing list
OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================
Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:13 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Nov 30 2007 - 23:17:31 CST