Re: SB 1438 is law in CA...

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Sep 28 2004 - 18:29:24 CDT

On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 15:25:54 -0700, Alan Dechert
<> wrote:
> Thanks, Joe. The wording is still a little weird, but as long as OVC's
> design is not considered a DRE, that's an improvement over the original
> draft we saw.
> ...
> The language is slightly self-contradictory since DRE is said to mean "no
> tangible ballot," but DREs now have to have a "voter verified paper audit
> trail."
> BTW, is "Paper record copy" a tangible ballot?

No... from the law as enrolled[1]:

(e) "Paper record copy" means an auditable document printed by a
voter verified paper audit trail component that corresponds to the
voter's electronic vote and lists the contests on the ballot and the
voter's selections for those contests. *A paper record copy is not a

Notice the last sentence, emphasis added.


> In other words, wouldn't it have made more sense to just say, that "DREs
> will no longer be permitted? All voting machines must include a voter
> verified paper audit trail."

There's definitely probably better wording for this legislation... I
see your point... but I think what it was trying to do was to say that
any DRE (as defined *now* in that legislation) must include AVVPAT
capability to be approved for use after 1/1/2005 (and used after

> I know you worked on this a bit, but I don't think this is your wording.
> Did Cindy Cohen write that?

I don't think Cindy Cohn had anything to do with it (at least, to my
knowledge). My wording for the definition of DRE was[2]:

"Direct recording electronic voting system" means a voting system
that includes all of the following:
(1) A device or system that does not require the voter to record his
    or her vote directly onto a tangible ballot.
(2) A device or system where an electronic record of an individual's
    vote is considered the official record.


You can see that the "tangible ballot" language entered the record
with the second amendment that dealt with the definition of a DRE...
here is the original bill, the second DRE def. amendment and the final
DRE def. amendment:

When I authored the letter linked to above[2], I was mostly concerned
with the second definition which was woefully imprecise and broad.

I really think that the DRE definition should have hinged on 1) lack
of an independent, easily comprehendible, ballot-image event log
(paper/VVPAT is an easy one) and 2) what is considered the official
record of the vote. DREs don't have the first of these and some chunk
of memory is the second...

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
UC Berkeley, SIMS PhD Student
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Received on Thu Sep 30 23:17:09 2004

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