Re: Security markings on the ballot

From: Alan Dechert <adechert_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Wed Oct 22 2003 - 14:55:14 CDT

Hi Chris,

Maybe I should qualify this a bit. This is intended -- as I mentioned -- as
PART of the security scheme. It's a bit like paper currency. Certain
features make it easy to spot counterfeits. Other features are employed at
the same time. It's the same idea here.

I plan to use ordinary paper but it could also be marked in another way
before use -- another security feature.

In other words, through a combination of features, we'll make it virtually
impossible to forge a ballot.

BTW, a high quality laser copy would not defeat this scheme. If it's
exactly the same as a ballot that has been submitted (same ballot no and
everything), then it's an obvious forgery -- a duplicate. If it's exactly
the same but with a different ballot no., then there would be no matching
electronic record of the ballot -- another obvious forgery.

Of course, this is NOT a big consideration for the demo. The production
software development will go through a rigorous threat analysis.

Alan D.

> The ONLY way to do this is to use cryptography, or very expensive
> printing processes.
> Any high quality copier will be able to make duplicate copies of any
> ballot we print on a laser
> printer which will be essentially indistinguishable from the
> original. The flag may make
> the printed ballot look patriotic, but it will not prevent counterfeiting.
>
> That's assuming you use plain old paper. If you want to create
> individually numbered and water
> marked paper ahead of time ( using special printing presses etc ),
> and then run these through the
> plain old laser printer, that might work.
>
> -C-
>
>
> >Part of the scheme I have envisioned to prevent counterfeit ballots
involves
> >using images as watermarks. These images could be varied so that ballots
> >produced on a particular PC on Election Day could be easy to distinguish
> >visually from other ballots, and there would be no way for a prospective
> >forger to know how they would appear on the ballot.
> >
> >
> >I did a little experimenting with a couple of images I sent to you. I
put
> >the
> >American flag centered near the top so that the heading ("OFFICIAL
BALLOT,
> >GENERAL ELECTION" etc) is over the background image of the flag. I put a
> >Wright Bros picture around the middle and lower half of the page. I like
> >the way this looks.
> >
> >FYI, I posted it here (in Word 97 format):
> >
> >http://members.aol.com/adechert/ballot.doc
> >
> >I used these images:
> >
> >http://members.aol.com/adechert/wrightbros.jpg
> >
> >http://members.aol.com/adechert/flag2.jpg
> >
> >I've posted this to give an idea what I'm talking about. For the demo,
we
> >don't necessarily need to incorporate code to mix up the images.
> >
> >I am hoping Jan can incorporate this into his ballot printing routine.
> >
> >-- Alan D.
>
>
> --
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
-=
> Chris Schaefer Email:
> chris<AT>1reality(DOT)org
> Professional Bit Twiddler and student of reality.
> "Global Information, Local Production"
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
-=
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Received on Fri Oct 31 23:17:03 2003

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