[EM] Re: touch screen voting machines

David GLAUDE dglaude at gmx.net
Tue Nov 11 17:33:04 PST 2003

Eron Lloyd wrote:

> I'd interested in how easily you could get multiple ballots to correct 
> mistakes. This presents a way to either add a duplicate ballot or risk 
> privacy by the person you hand your bad ballot to associating your face with 
> the votes on your ballot.

You can only make one mistake (no 3rd chance).
Your ballot is destructed in front of you... It does not contain your 
real vote (it was a mistake) you can always make your vote invalid 
(impossible choice) to make sure it is not reused and if inspected you 
do not reveal your vote.

> As far as language translation, perhaps in Belgium 
> it is much more homogenous than here in the US, where we have over half a 
> dozen distinct languages spoke right here in my community.

In Belgium we have 3 officials language (with maximum 2 in use at one 
location). But rules on the usage of language are very strict...
We will not indicate instruction in english because it is not an 
official language!!!

> To say there is nothing to translate is absurd...

In Belgium it is not absure because we only vote for Senator, 
Parlementarian, and local/regional representative. Almost everybody can 
read a party name/logo and/or a candidate name.

 > what about the instructions?

Instruction can be given in advance... maybe translated in as many 
language, ...

> Who determines what languages to print ballots for?

Official language of the country = language of the administration.

> If I speak Hindi, am a registered 
> citizen, and can vote but can't read the ballot, it that OK?

It is OK for me... maybe not for you.

> A computer system could provide internationalization for many languages, and shift on 
> the fly. Another interesting idea, is that the screen could describe the 
> purpose and function of each office voted for.

I don't think the pooling station is the right place to learn what you 
vote for. I had many voter asking me the difference between the Senate 
and the Parliament... ("It is just another election, sorry you have not 
finish yet, you will not get your magnetic card back if you don't finish 
and we will not give you your id card if you do not return the magnetic 

> Many people skip ballot items because they don't know what the job is for.
> The ballot could explain this in plain terminology.

Be carefull with the explanation... and translation!

> As far as for accessibility, if we just told people with 
> disabilities to have someone help them do everything, we wouldn't need any 
> accomodations!

What percentage of the population need help to vote?

What percentage of those do not have someone they trust to proxy-vote 
for them?

What percentage of the population that need help to vote will not need 
help to vote with an "improved system"?

I have seen many proxy-voter with a list of what they should vote.

> If I become disabled and can't vote and my wife secretly wants 
> me to vote Republican instead of Green as my proxy, is that OK?

It is OK...
Do you trust your wife?
If you don't, then someone at the pooling station can help you (if you 
can get there). They can sign a paper saying they will not reveal your 
secret... and you can trust (honest citizen choosen as election worker) 
them to do as you say.

> They deserve the same amount of freedom and privacy as the rest of us.

Check your number... (see questions above).

How many currenty are unable to vote themself?
What disabilities they have that make them unable to vote?
What would solve their problem?
How many left without a solution?

I don't think the risk introduced by e-voting to the democracy is 
acceptable... even to help those with disabilities.

>>>Indeed there are many problems...I suppose what it boils down to is
>>>attempting to reduce to ratio of correct to corrupt votes, so it can't
>>>swing an election. And all of us volunteering at the polls as observers.
>>The nice thing about manual voting system (paper and pen) is that
>>corrupt votes are also done at human scale and they go in every
>>direction. Also it can be detected by witness.
> How? Don't you get privacy when filling out the ballot? If you can't inspect 
> ballots until the election is over and counting begins how will you know?

By corrupt votes I was thinking about vote wich are not the voter intent 
= fraud! (!=not mistake)

>>The problem with e-voting is that e-fraud goes in a single direction at
>>a computer scale with no possible proof or witness.
> I'm not sure I agree. What I'm proposing is not a complete DRE system; it 
> still ultimately produces a paper ballot that gets counted by hand, by a 
> person. The computer would only aid in filling it out. Mechanisms between the 
> computer tally and the individual ballots would ensure they are correct. A 
> two-way audit if you will.

I still believe that cost/benefit of using a computer to produce a paper 
ballot is not interesting.

Please when you check your number... try to find out how many will be 
excluded from the election process because they are affraid of computer, 
do not know how to "touch the screen", ... where for those peaple paper 
and pen was OK.


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