Scanner, write-ins, printer (was Re: Barcode -- printed ballot)

From: Edward Cherlin <edward_dot_cherlin_at_etssg_dot_com>
Date: Sat Sep 13 2003 - 14:12:30 CDT

On Friday 29 August 2003 05:23 pm, Alan Dechert wrote:
> It is imperative that we demonstrate the ballot verification
> procedure with the visually impaired voter in such a way that
> the voter never has to remove the ballot from the privacy
> folder until it goes into the ballot box. Some have suggested
> a procedure where the ballot is removed to be placed into a
> scanner. This will not be acceptable to these people
> (disabled community). Don't even think about it! Keep it in
> the folder and run the barcode under the scanner. In the
> production system, the scanner will likely be hands-free and
> mounted. For the demo, this type of scanner is probably too
> expensive so we will likely use a hand-held dirt cheap
> scanner.


> We need to keep the string of characters containing the
> encoded selections down to a minimum to ensure accuracy

Accuracy is ensured by error-correcting coding, that is by adding
redundancy in a controlled manner, not by removing all possible
redundancy. Error correction must be part of the bar code
standard we adopt.

> and
> keep the system very cheap. Despite previous postings on this
> subject, I recommend for the demo only encoding the ballot
> number -- say using two 7-bit characters along with however
> many characters are need to encode the 116 bit string. Keep
> it simple -- don't barcode the write-ins (for the demo
> anyway).

For the demo it would then be useful to include a bit to say
whether there is a write-in. Then we can demonstrate sorting out
those that have the write-in bit set to let the poll workers
read the printed information.

> We also need to find some free barcode software. I found this
> but I'm not sure it will work for us since it seems to need a
> Postscript printer, which may be too expensive for the demo.

On Linux, all output is through PostScript. The printing system
software translates for non-PostScript printers. In any case,
you can borrow my PostScript laser printer for demonstrations.


> -- Alan Dechert

Edward Cherlin, Simputer Evangelist
Encore Technologies (S) Pte. Ltd.
Computers for all of us,
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Received on Tue Sep 30 23:17:04 2003

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