Re: The trouble with triples. (Was Three ballot...

From: <dr-jekyll_at_att_dot_net>
Date: Wed Sep 27 2006 - 13:03:14 CDT

Thank you both Charlie and Jerry,

Charlie, you're right. The 3 ballots do not need to be cast together. It says they are split in Sec 3.4. Of course, all 3 must be cast and be unaltered.

I have below a sample election with 4 voters and a manual recount of the paper ballots. Note how the vote that counts must be paired with another vote on the same ballot. According Section 3.3, the voter "may choose arbitrarily which two bubbles in that row to fill in." There might a hole that allows for some degree of verification for chain voting.

Let's say I am a chain voter organizer. I could instruct the people whom I pay-off (or intimidate) for their votes that they must make all their pairs on the same ballot. Each voter chooses which ballot to have printed (Sec 3.5) and I will demand that my victims choose to print the ballot with all the pairs of votes. In contests with only 2 candidates' being on the ballot, my victims will have secret ballots. But most contests today have numerous candidates that get less than 1%. If there isn't one already, I and my fellow bad guys can put a detestable candidate on the ballot. I can further require that my victims do all their doubling using a combination of my candidates and the detestable candidates. That way, when I inspect their receipts, I will know that my victims' votes are for either my candidate or the less than 1% candidate. If I were dealing with any sizable number of chain voters, and I would if I were trying to throw an election, I would be able to enfor!
 ce the
chain voters' choices by ensuring that very few votes get the tallied for the less than 1% candidates.


Sample Election and Manual Recount using Ron Rivestís ThreeBallot Voting System

Three Candidates
Four Voters
Votersí Intent: Bob Smith 2
                Alex Jones 1
                Carol Wu 1

Voter #1 Votes for Bob Smith
Ballot 1 Ballot 2 Ballot 3
Alex Jones Alex Jones Alex Jones Y
Bob Smith Y Bob Smith Y Bob Smith
Carol Wu Carol Wu Y Carol Wu

Voter #2 Votes for Bob Smith
Ballot 1 Ballot 2 Ballot 3
Alex Jones Y Alex Jones Alex Jones
Bob Smith Y Bob Smith Bob Smith Y
Carol Wu Carol Wu Y Carol Wu

Voter #3 Votes for Alex Jones
Ballot 1 Ballot 2 Ballot 3
Alex Jones Alex Jones Y Alex Jones Y
Bob Smith Bob Smith Y Bob Smith
Carol Wu Y Carol Wu Carol Wu

Voter #4 Votes for Carol Wu

Ballot 1 Ballot 2 Ballot 3
Alex Jones Alex Jones Alex Jones Y
Bob Smith Bob Smith Y Bob Smith
Carol Wu Y Carol Wu Carol Wu Y

Manual Recount Totals:
Alex Jones 5 votes minus 4 voters = 1
Bob Smith 6 votes minus 4 voters = 2
Carol Wu 5 votes minus 4 voters = 1

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-------------- Original message from Jerry Lobdill <>: -------------- 
This sounds EXTREMELY complicated. How in the world are people who in past times haven't been able to figure out how to use a simple ballot EVER going to learn this? It will confuse these people to be "voting not for".  The incidence of faulty ballots will surely go up with this idea.
Kathy and Kurt,
Here's a little more details on how Rivest's scheme works to answer  
your questions
first Kurt,  The terminolgy "against" is off-putting, I agree.    
Though I see why he chose it:it's hard to invent a better term for  
what Rivest means.  He means literally you are "voting not for",  
because on his ballot you have to make marks for people you do not  
wish to win.  He had to have a term for that positive action, so I  
guess he called it voting "against".
This may be come more clear as I answer kathy's question.
So let's review:  in every race you have to mark one oval for people  
you don't want to win (AKA vote against)  and two ovals for the  
candidate you do want to win.  The ballot is then trisected.
Looking at any given ballot the scanner can't tell if an oval was  
part of a vote "for" or a "vote" against.  Instead for any oval it  
sees, it simply increments the counter for that candidate.
Now what happens is that every time 3 ballots are inserted, then on a  
properly marked ballot, at least one oval for every candidate is  
filled.  Thus no matter what the counter for each candidate  
increments one tick for every voter.  and the voter's preferred  
candidate increments two ticks.
thus at the end of the day candidate each candidates total is
N+(number of votes for)
where N is the number of voters.
If you want you can subtract N from each candidate's totals, then you  
are left with simply the number of votes for.
SO now you can see why he has this elaborate "vote checker" that  
verifies the 3ballot is of valid form (all the candidates must have  
an oval checked, only one candidate has two ovals checked, and none  
has three ovals checked).   And only after that validation can the  
voter insert the 3 strips into the vote counting machine.
Of course since rivest wants physical separation of the checker and  
counter (because of his desiderata that the counter can be blind to  
which ballot strips  go together)  And there's a problem.  The voter  
might modify the ovals after it was checked, or switch one of the  
ballot strips for another in his pocket, and thus be able to fill in  
more ovals for his favorties and remove ovals for those he opposes,  
and thus vote multiple times.
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