[EM] Re: touch screen voting machines

Rob Speer rspeer at MIT.EDU
Thu Nov 13 06:44:02 PST 2003

On Thu, Nov 13, 2003 at 04:45:36AM -0800, Ken Johnson wrote:
> I agree that it is not acceptable for the voter to be given a voting 
> receipt if they don't want one. The voting machine can ask "Do you want 
> an auditable voting receipt?"; if not you just click "No". But I feel 
> strongly that I should have the OPTION of being able to verify that my 
> particular ballot was counted the way I voted, and no one but me should 
> have access to the information identifying me with my vote.

But they will, and making it optional doesn't help.

If you have the option of verifying your ballot, then someone has the
option of paying you $20 for your verifiable vote receipt. Or
threatening you if you don't get a receipt and give it to them.

As far as I can tell, there are two reasonable ways to handle

* Give everyone a number to verify their vote; post all the votes along
  with the voter numbers. Then anyone can hypothetically check that the
  votes have been counted correctly. You must realize that if you do
  this in a large election, you are creating an open (or black) market
  for votes. 
* Don't do it. This is the only option for public elections.
Rob Speer

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