Re: Three Ballot Voting System - Comments Appreciated

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon Sep 25 2006 - 12:54:54 CDT

well to be blunt, I hate it. It sets out to solve a lot of problems that don't exist, creates new deisderata for elections that are unneccessary, and utterly fails to accomplish it's goals while adding hideous layers of byszantine comlexity. On top of this the paper is long winded.

Even the ballot design itself will pretty much foreclose any ranked preference voting on paper ballots, so for that reason alone it's a non-starter to me.

For those with short attention spans unwilling to wade the several pages it takes to get to the meat of this here's the synopsis.

The system consists of two elements that create a synergy.

Element 1: the stupid ballot layout

each ballot has three identical columns of ovals. So there are three bubbles in a row next to each candidate's name. Voting is done like this:

1) if one oval is checked in any of the three that's a vote for the candidate.
2) is two ovals are chekced that's actually a non-vote

Element 2: Publishing the vote record (publicly and with receipts)

1) the voter marks one of the columns as "special" at the time she votes.
2) that column, along with her name, is published on a web site, and if she gets a printout of that column.

That's it.

If you think this through then no one column can actually be a proof of vote. So a coerced voter has nothing to show. Whoopee.

The article seems to also claim that the voter can also verify their vote was counted as cast. First I don't see how it achieves that without making all sorts of unsubstantiated assumptions. Second, ex-post facto proof of counted-as-cast is an unneccessary desiderata for successful elections. If it could be done easily and without any complications whatsoever, I would not oppose it, but short of that I see it as insignificant compared to all the other issues, particularly simplicity and transparency of process.

The article makes other claims about detection of ballot stuffing that also seem to rely unhelpful assumptions.

That's my take.

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Received on Sat Sep 30 23:17:06 2006

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