RE: SB 1438 is law in CA...

From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) <"Popkin,>
Date: Wed Sep 29 2004 - 16:02:23 CDT

"Doug has pointed out that having anything trump anything else is bad
policy... and I agree"

Perhaps I'm missing something, but this doesn't feel right to me. If the
position is that the paper is the true ballot, and the electronic record is
a processing step in computing the results, it's clear to me how things
work. That is, you get the electronic results almost immediately, and then
if there's a question (or when you do your regular audits) you can go to the
paper record and verify that the electronic results mirror the actual votes
cast, and if they don't, there's no question about which is "right".

If having the physical ballots and the electronic records have equal weight
seems like it's just asking for lawsuits whenever the recount of the
physical ballots changes the results of the election.

Am I missing something?

- Laird Popkin

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-voting-project@afterburner.sonic.net
[mailto:owner-voting-project@afterburner.sonic.net]On Behalf Of Barbara
Simons
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 12:30 PM
To: voting-project@lists.sonic.net
Subject: Re: [voting-project] SB 1438 is law in CA...

Hmmmm. It seems as if you are saying two different things. When I asked if
the electronic tally would trump the paper tally, you said it would. But
you then quote a portion of the law that says that the paper record copy
shall govern unless.... Isn't that saying that in general the paper
whatever-it-is will in general trump the electrons?

As far as my AVVPAT question goes, I couldn't care less if there is an
independent log/audit trail if it's there just for scholars to go back and
see who really won the election. The paper is of value only if it can have
an impact. (I realize you are not defending the definition; you're just
stating it).

Also, according to the definition of a ballot, electronic voting machines
have eliminated ballots altogether. That seems like a huge policy change.
Why is no one saying that we no longer have ballots?

Finally, optical scan ballots are ballots. We simply need systems (like
OVC's proposal) that will mark (Vogue) or print out (Populex) optically
scan-able ballots that satisfy whatever the requirements are.

Regards,
Barbara

On 9/29/04 8:17, "Joseph Lorenzo Hall" <joehall@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 19:01:37 -0700, Barbara Simons <simons@acm.org> wrote:
>> I hadn't realized that the law was so flawed. It's a big mistake to say
>> that the paper is not a ballot.
>
> A ballot is a special legal definition that includes specifications
> about font sizes, water-marking, paper-weight, etc. ...
>
>> Doesn't that imply that if a manual recount
>> of the paper disagrees with the electronic tally, then the electronic
>> results trump the paper results?
>
> Yes. In fact, that's explicitly stated in the CA SoS's AVVPAT regs:
>
> http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/ks_dre_papers/avvpat_standards_6_15a_04.pdf
>
> 2.1.1.4 In the case of a difference between the electronic record
> and the paper record copy, the paper record copy shall govern,
> unless there is clear evidence that the paper record copy is
> inaccurate, incomplete or unreadable as defined in the system
> procedures.
>
> Doug has pointed out that having anything trump anything else is bad
> policy... and I agree. If there's an error, the error should be
> figured out and dealt with.
>
>> If that's the case, then what is the point of an AVVPAT?
>
> It's an independent event log / audit trail.
>
> Joe

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Received on Thu Sep 30 23:17:10 2004

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