Re: Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Mon Nov 12 2007 - 13:21:16 CST
Of course the precinct totals must be posted outside the precinct under locked glass, placed onto the web, and phoned in to the media as soon as they're generated. This procedure (1) makes it more difficult for attackers at the precincts to "adjust" the totals after they've been posted and (2) permits anyone to check the election totals by summing the precinct totals using any method she wishes.

Again, the objection is not to the use of any technology in voting, but to the use of technology that most ordinary citizens cannot effectively supervise. There is a significant transparency difference (and a huge security difference) between a computerized ballot printer left alone with an individual voter and a general-purpose calculator that another person uses to sum the precincts totals. I don't suppose that I need to explain why.


Arthur Keller wrote:
At 11:02 PM -0800 11/11/07, Arthur Keller wrote:
At 8:47 PM -0800 11/11/07, Ronald Crane wrote:
Arthur Keller wrote:
  ...New Hampshire consists mainly of small towns.  How would you
  hand-count the one million or so votes in the City of Los Angeles or
  the well over one million votes in the City of New York?  Would you
  use computers to record and sum up the totals from each precinct?  Or
  would you do that on an abacus?

This is uncalled-for and indeed absurd. The objection is to voting
systems that can't effectively be supervised by most members of the
general public, not to any use of technology whatsoever. Anyone with a
calculator (which means well-nigh everyone) can total the precincts.
Indeed, anyone with paper, a pencil, some patience, and a modicum of
ingenuity can repeatably total a thousand 3-4 digit numbers in about an
Consider the case of Los Angeles County, with about 1,000 precincts.
(Elections are run by the Los Angeles County, not City.)  That Daly
City ballot I mentioned with 8 regular races, 2 multi-candidate
races, and 23 yes/no propositions and measures had 99 distinct
marking locations.  So each precinct would have about 100 totals, so
we're talking about about 100,000 precinct numbers for the Los
Angeles County, not a thousand.  (Santa Clara County has about 1,100

Correction: In the 2006 election, there were 5,000 precincts in Los 
Angeles County, according to the California Secretary of State report.

I think the hardest problem would be avoiding transcription errors in
copying the 100,000 numbers to the correct places on the total sheets.

Would you display incremental results to the public on a website?  Or
would you wait until all results are in before displaying anything?

Best regards,

Best regards,


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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:19 2007

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