Re: The trouble with triples. (Was Three ballot

From: <dr-jekyll_at_att_dot_net>
Date: Wed Sep 27 2006 - 06:48:07 CDT

In Ron Rivest's paper, Section 3.6:

"The voter now casts all three original ballots by putting them in a ballot box. The ballot box has the property, us usual, that it effectively scrambles the ballot order, destroying any indication of which triple of ballots originally went together, and what order the ballots were cast in."

I believe "cast all three original ballots" means the ballots are seen as a group at that time and then separated.

I haven't finished studying the paper, but I believe this concern could be addressed by a simple wording change.

Another wording change suggestion would be the use of the phrase "vote AGAINST a candidate" in Section 3.3. At first, I thought this was casting a negative vote, a theory I and at least one other member of this group has favored in the past. That would allow to the voter to opt for either a positive vote for one of the candidates or a negative vote, ie subtract one vote from one candidate's total. Such a feature would allow a voter to actually vote against a candidate. Today, the only way to vote against the Republican is to vote for the Democrat and vice versa. The Republican-Democrat duopoly likes that. It allows them to run negative campaigns and the real victims are the 3rd parties. After reading further, I believe "vote AGAINST" in this context is actually a null. Perhaps a phrase like "null vote" might be better.

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-------------- Original message from "Kathy Dopp" <>: -------------- 
> On 9/26/06, 
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> > 1. The trouble with triples. (Was Three ballot voting system) 
> > (Charlie Strauss) 
> > 
> > 
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> > 
> > Message: 1 
> > Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 22:27:24 -0600 
> > From: Charlie Strauss 
> > 
> > Also I'll take the opportunity to remind folks of how it triple 
> > ballots work: 
> > 
> > 1) beside each name are 3 bubbles in a row 
> > 2) the voter marks one bubble to vote against the candidate 
> > 3) the voter makes 2 bubbles to vote for. 
> > 4) A checker machine checks to see if every candidate has one or two 
> > marked bubbles and no race has more than one candidate with two 
> > marked bubbles. 
> > 5) the checker, adds a red stripe to the bottom, and slices the 
> > ballot into three strips. 
> > 6) each separate ballot strip has a different random ID number. 
> > 7) the checker gives the voter a copy of one of the strips (her 
> > choice which) to take home. 
> > 8) the voter inserts the 3 strips into a dumb optical scan machine 
> > which counts each ballot like it was a regular conventional ballot. 
> > 9) All of the ballots cast and their ID numbers are published, 
> > accessible to everyone 
> I don't get it. If the voter fills out two bubbles (a "for" vote) and 
> the ballot is split into three pieces, are the two bubbles the voter 
> filled in, on two different pages and if so, then how on earth does 
> the counting software that is fed separate pieces figure out whether 
> it is 'for' or 'against' or do the three pieces for each voter always 
> get fed into the opscan machine at the same time? How does anyone 
> know what the votes are supposed to be with the mess of ballots split 
> into three pieces? What am I missing? 
> Obviously I haven't read Ron's paper yet, so tell me to go read it 
> myself if you want. 
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Received on Sat Sep 30 23:17:07 2006

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