[EM] Re: touch screen voting machines

R.G.'Stumpy' Marsh rmarsh at xtra.co.nz
Tue Nov 11 14:59:09 PST 2003

On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 10:58:30 -0500, you wrote:

>Relying on voters to audit their votes is 
>unacceptable, if people would treat the reciept like they do any other (ATM, 
>credit card, etc.). They just don't pay attention enough. You have to attempt 
>to engineer away risk factors first. That might just mean pen and paper for a 
>long time.

I disagree. As far as auditing is concerned, I think this sort of mass
near-random testing is ideal. Sure the vast majority may not check
their votes, but enough people on all sides of the election would
check to make systematic fraud nigh on certain to be detected.

The only problem I see is with privacy, particularly the
afore-mentioned stand-over problem. One way to get around that would
be to provide the option of creating false receipts as well as the
real one. The false receipt would be identical to the real one in
every respect, except that the fake one has a false random ID and a
false checksum. 

That would mean either displaying false as well as real IDs in the
audit list (which would screw up the counts, but still provide genuine
verification) or producing the falsified receipts with numbers
assigned for real to someone who really did vote the way the fake
ticket is meant to show.

It would rather complicate things for the user too. Perhaps too much
for those most likely to be under duress. They'd essentially have to
vote twice; once for real, and once to indicate what they want shown
on their stand-over receipt. Too many people have enough trouble
voting once.

R.G. "Stumpy" Marsh     Timaru, New Zealand

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