Re: [OVC-demo-team] Questioning the requirements/architecture documents

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Feb 03 2004 - 21:36:59 CST

On Tuesday, February 3, 2004, at 08:24 PM, Eron Lloyd wrote:
> Are we going by local election laws, most of which are ridiculously
> out-dated
> and ambigous (especially related to ballot design), or are we
> attempting to
> follow the guidelines documented in the VSS?

It is easy to fall into the unconscious belief that we (the EVM2003
demo project) are a legislative body. We're not! As much as it is
easy to imagine better ways to do things, doing so it outside the scope
of our project.

It's also easy to second guess Alan's work in designing a a good
demonstration screen, but I trust him enough to believe he's come up
with something that can serve the needed purpose: This purpose is
showing the concept to elections officials... the purpose is NOT yet to
run real elections. That's post-demo, and will hopefully be conducted
under OVC guidelines.

> Has anyone taken a look at OASIS' EML schemas?

I find them needlessly complicated myself. YMMV.

> It's very easy (and fast) to code in Python and Qt. We can test, run,
> and
> modify the code very quickly without worrying about low-level logic
> details.
> If necessary down the road, we could move our code to C++ very easily.


>> The use of Alan's demo screen is FIXED IN STONE for the demo.
> I still am having trouble understanding why. There is no empirical
> study on
> electronic ballot design, especially done in an academic environment
> where it
> is shared and furthered by the work of others and field research.

I think the NSF recently approved a study along these lines, I believe
conducted by some U.Maryland researches (probably Alan or Doug Jones
remember the details; or it's somewhere in our list archives).

But the best approach is not what we're going for here. What we need
is something that will not put off our target audience (elections
people). Our goal is to avoid giving them something to complain about,
or that might seem controversial (beyond what we need to).

> we benefit from something such as Robsons Ballot Rotation:
> which reduces the unfair advantage of fixed candidate listing? These
> are the
> kind of questions I'm interested in researching and answering, and a
> large
> reason why I joined this project.

Then I'm afraid you've misunderstood what the EVM project is. I can
quite agree that those questions are interesting, and worth
investigating. But they are WAY outside the scope of EVM2003.

> If we are just racing to get funding, I
> understand, but the constraints of the demo requirements seem like a
> burden,
> if we are demonstrating a *concept* not a design.

It's not really a race to get funding so much as it is to get media
coverage and awareness in the minds of elections officials. But
funding is part of it.

But the concept we are demonstrating doesn't seem to be the one Eron is
thinking of. What we're demonstrating is the use of touchscreen
machines to produce voter verifiable paper ballots. Usability
guidelines for the best GUI interfaces for voting are a different

> I will say that it is trivial to write *an* interface (which I have
> already),

PLEASE check it in then! It's an important part of what the project

Yours, David...
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Received on Thu Apr 1 02:40:15 2004

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