Re: Daily Kos vote

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 13:08:25 CDT
On the disability issue, of course disabled voters should not be required to use ballots they can't use. However, neither should nondisabled voters be required to use systems that introduce substantial security risks without giving them any significant benefits. And no, the equal protection clause does not mandate that everyone must use exactly the same voting system. The government has a compelling interest in ensuring election security, and if that means that some disabled voters use a system tailored to their needs, and nondisabled voters use a different system, there's nothing legally wrong with that. It's not "ghettoiz[ing]" anyone, nor pushing anything like the "separate but equal" doctrine of Plessey v. Furguson. [1]

On "verification", you're confounding two very different things. A voter "verifies" her hand-marked ballot only for errors. She "verifies" a machine-printed ballot (or "paper trail") both for errors and for fraud. If verification largely fails with hand-marked ballots, you'll see a basically random distribution of errors (unless the ballot design is lousy or fraudulent -- but that can strike any kind of system). If verification largely fails with machine-marked ballots, and the machines a working a fraud, the distribution will be skewed by the fraud. Big, big difference.


[1] This is not legal advice. Consult your favorite lawyer for legal advice.

David Mertz wrote:
On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 09:50, Ronald Crane <> wrote:
And once again, the ballot-printer design is still vulnerable to delay- and
denial-of-service attacks, presentation attacks, and selection attacks, all
of which are far more difficult to wage against hand-filled paper. Ballot
printers are also vulnerable to out-and-out misrecording attacks, since, as
Selker has shown, "voter verification" is quite poor at detecting errors.

On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 1:07 PM, Edward Cherlin <> wrote:
Hi, Ron. How do you deal with ballot-box stuffing and other known
hazards of paper-only?

We have been through this discussion so many times that it seems
needless to do it again.

The plain fact is that all-paper hand marked ballots are a non-starter
idea for any newly implemented voting systems in most jurisdictions.
Per Selker and all, "verification" is no better--and generally far
worse--with hand marked ballots than with and OVC-style Ballot Printer
Architecture (BPA).  And moreover, cost advantages of the BPA in the
actual conduct of elections pushes in their direction.

However, the real underlying reason hand marked is a non-starter is
that it simply ignores the requirements--both reasonable and
politically important--of disabled voters.  To a lesser extent, it
also ignores the needs of non-English-language voters, or at least
provides less flexible multilingual capabilities.  Disabled rights
groups are simply not willing to accept *separate and UNequal* voting
systems for their ghettoized use; and they are also not willing to
accept a loss of their right to vote independently and anonymously
(nor should they be so willing).

Hand marked ballot advocates really just show disrespect for disabled
voters.  That's no good.

Yours, David...


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Received on Mon Nov 30 23:17:06 2009

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