Re: Printing Vote-by-Mail ballots at home (was Observing process in Placer County CA 4th CD -- Brown v. McClintock)

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Wed Nov 12 2008 - 13:26:29 CST

Arthur Keller wrote:
> ...This indicates that Vote-by-Mail ballots should be on heavy stock,
> so they can be scanned reducing the problem of jamming and shredding
> of ballots. And yes, I have had ordinary 20# paper shredded in
> ordinary paper feeders for copiers as a result of a jam.
Oh yeah. And just wait 'till a voter accidentally prints her ballot on a
page of laser labels, and the thing gets a little bent during mailing so
that a label's edge detaches from the backing.
> Alan's idea of printing Vote-by-Mail ballots using the Internet to
> print ballots may be reasonable for "facsimile" ballots for overseas
> voters, where the ballots have to be manually scanned after being
> verified, and are essentially treated as provisional votes.
This is a possible use for this technology, but it still has many
vulnerabilities: all the usual presentation attacks (e.g., reordering
the ballot, dropping candidates, messing with the race headings),
selection attacks (e.g., modulating the ease of selecting particular
candidates), and recording attacks (e.g., printing the ballot offset, or
playing with the bar code, so that everything reads correctly to humans
but scans incorrectly), supplemented by a whole new set of hacker-driven
social-engineering and browser-corruption attacks. I shudder to consider
the amount of disenfranchisement that attackers could cause using this
procedure. (Post Office worker: "Hey boss, we're sure gettin' a lot of
letters with bad 'business reply mail' IDs on 'em. I sent back a bunch
yesterday, and doggone it if there isn't a whole new stack today!")
> When treated as provisional ballots, there is no need to digitally
> sign any ballot, as the provisional process will ensure that exactly
> one ballot is cast by the voter.
Hmm, I'm not sure what you mean. Digitally signing a ballot voids its
anonymity.

On a related topic, do you know how Oregon counts its VBM ballots?

-R

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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:16 2008

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