[EM] non-geographical districts
stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Mon Nov 24 10:00:02 PST 2003
was... [EM] Electronic Voting Bill of Rights?
Anyone considering seriously to remove geographical definitions for
district should read:
First post is in french, fourth is in english.
In summary, this model (SPPA) proposes to replace
geographical districts by virtual districts (based on day and month of birth, and some year modulo if needed) to produce a full
proportional chamber using a preferential ballot.
Comments are welcome.
> De: Eron Lloyd <elloyd at lancaster.lib.pa.us>
> Date: 2003/11/24 lun. AM 11:55:27 GMT-05:00
> À: Ken Johnson <kjinnovation at earthlink.net>,
> Dave Ketchum <davek at clarityconnect.com>
> Cc: Election Methods <election-methods-electorama.com at electorama.com>
> Objet: Re: [EM] Electronic Voting Bill of Rights?
> On Sunday November 23 2003 9:20 pm, Ken Johnson wrote:
> > This is a follow-up to EM Vol 1, #355, Message 1, Re: touch screen
> > voting machines
> > Dave Ketchum wrote:
> > > ...
> > > I think of a voting machine as a unit that supports a single voter at
> > > a time, doing NO communication outside the room that contains it.
> > > After polls close and it completes recording the day's activity on its
> > > CD, it reports totals for publication and for summing for larger
> > > districts.
> > > ...
> > > As to voter secrecy, it has been mentioned that there is little when
> > > there are only a few voters. In fact it disappears when there is a
> > > single voter in a count. We only demand that administration not
> > > aggravate this problem.
> > The summing and publication of vote subtotals for specific geographic
> > regions (e.g. precincts or districts) is, in my view, a violation of
> > voter secrecy. For example, someone might say "Oh - you live in that
> > district that voted 80% Nazi, so you're most probably a Nazi." What's
> > worse - having someone see my ballot, showing that I voted "Peace and
> > Freedom", or having someone conclude that I voted Nazi and my not having
> > any way to prove otherwise? Or maybe an elected governor might think
> > "that's the district that always votes overwhelmingly against my party,
> > so I'm not going to fund their much-needed road improvement project -
> > why bother?" In a sense, reporting district-level election tallies might
> > be considered a greater violation of privacy than revealing my
> > individual vote, because no one's going to care much how a particular
> > individual voted, whereas knowledge of district-level results might
> > significantly influence governmental decisions. (Granted, such
> > information can be obtained from independent polls, but polling
> > information is obtained voluntarily, and there's nothing to prevent me
> > from lying to pollsters.)
> An interesting idea, however it would be tough to approve because (1) Many
> states mandate posting poll-level results after closing in their election
> code already, and (2) many see poll-level results as another safeguard
> against tally tampering between the time the polls close and the time the
> full tabulation area recieves the figures. Besides that, as a somewhat
> expansion on #2, if you fully take away precinct-level totals, all
> custody-transfer tracking disappears, so for instance, my single write-in
> cannot be detected when I look at the election results before they are
> certified. Sure I voted for that office, but for *which* person? A very
> interesting though, indeed. It brings up the question of how important is
> anonymity over everything else, especially vs. having another checkpoint.
> Besides, you can already gain enough information to decide on an area's
> political leanings from the voter registrations.
> > Nobody keeps track of my religion, race,
> > gender, etc. as part of the vote tallying process, and in my view they
> > shouldn't track my voting locale either.
> This is where I think we would have the most trouble. If I understand you, I
> think you are referring to removing all geo-political boundry associations,
> which if is the case, will invalidate this idea. No matter how you look at
> it, unfortunately geo-political boundaries will always be a problem,
> expecially congressional districts. You don't need to look at poll results to
> figure out that San Francisco and Madison are liberal hotbeds. This doesn't
> even begin to then address the issue of the Electoral College. I'm sure that
> mentality of "oh, that district doesn't vote my way, so cut them out of this
> appropriations package" exists, but that's why we are (supposed) to have good
> representatives to fight for local interests. If that is your concern, it
> will not disappear by removing poll-level reporting. Now, removing the locale
> associations from legislative bodies and moving to political association
> through a PR-type system...is a different story. I think perhaps this more
> effectively addresses your concern, which is death by minority party
> association. Having representatives selected based on party percentages and
> political interests instead of geographic proximity (which really doesn't
> matter more) would *force* coalition governments, assuring a truly democratic
> structure, which is majority-rule with minority protections.
> > I would propose the following refinement of the Voter Secrecy provision
> > of the "Electronic Voting Bill of Rights":
> > SECRECY:
> > (1) INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS SHOULD NOT BE TRACEABLE TO SPECIFIC VOTERS.
> > (2) ELECTION RESULT SUBTOTALS SHOULD NOT BE PUBLISHED OR GENERATED FOR
> > SPECIFIC KNOWN GROUPS OF VOTERS (SUCH AS GEOGRAPHIC OR SOCIO-ECONOMIC
> > CLASSES).
> > To ensure #2 I think it would make sense to send a record of every
> > ballot (perhaps encrypted) to a central computer, which combines ALL the
> > ballot records into a SINGLE randomly-indexed database before any vote
> > tallying is done. If the counting is done manually, or if a manual
> > recount is required, the process should ensure that the counters do not
> > know where the votes they are counting come from and that the
> > intermediate subtotals are not associated with identifiable voter
> > subgroups. It may be necessary to store original (paper or possibly
> > CD-recorded) ballots separately for each precinct so that any
> > discrepancy between the number of voters and the total ballot count can
> > be traced to the precinct level. However, the original ballots, which
> > constitute the official, legal record of the vote, could not be viewed
> > except by appointed election officials or judges under specific
> > conditions: (1) To corroborate the number of voters to the number of
> > ballots for a particular precinct, the ballots would be taken out of
> > storage and counted face down (so that no information about the
> > precinct's voting preference is viewable). (2) To correlate the official
> > ballots to the ballot database, or to perform a manual recount, some or
> > all of the ballots may be viewed by a process in which the people
> > viewing the ballots do not know where the ballots come from.
> > In a well-designed process it should rarely, if ever, be necessary to
> > inspect more than a small statistical sampling of the official ballots
> > to validate an election result. Regarding Validation, I would also
> > propose the following Voting Rights provision:
> > VALIDATION:
> > (1) IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE TO PERFORM A FULL RECOUNT BASED ON THE
> > OFFICIAL BALLOTS, IF NECESSARY.
> > (2) IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE TO ROUTINELY AND INDEPENDENTLY VALIDADATE THE
> > ELECTION (AT LEAST WITHIN SOME REASONABLE STATISTICAL UNCERTAINTY LEVEL)
> > WITHOUT DOING A FULL RECOUNT.
> > The validation process #2 should be simple, transparent, and preferably
> > not require a great deal of technical expertise (e.g. in computers or
> > statistics) to understand or implement, and the validation should be
> > applied routinely as part of election certification. Furthermore,
> > ANYONE should have the right to challenge the election and apply the
> > validation test independently. As a practical matter, the challenging
> > party may need to pay a nominal fee to cover inspection-related
> > expenses, and if multiple validation requests are made then election
> > officials would have the option of combining them into a single
> > inspection. Provided that the size of the statistical sampling required
> > to validate the election is quite small, the validation process would be
> > fairly simple and inexpensive.
> In regards to your ideas of validation, I really have to think this over and
> see how it would work. One thing I'm concerned about is the fact that ballots
> can have 30+ "votes" on each, and in a county muncipal race like mine with 62
> municipalities (each having it's own ballot in addition to any county races/
> referendums) and over 220 polling places amongst them, a lot rides on where
> the votes come from.
> > Ken Johnson
> Eron Lloyd
> Technology Coordinator
> Lancaster County Library
> elloyd at lancaster.lib.pa.us
> Phone: 717-239-2116
> Fax: 717-394-3083
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