[EM] Re: touch screen voting machines

Eron Lloyd elloyd at lancaster.lib.pa.us
Thu Nov 13 14:22:02 PST 2003

On Thursday November 13 2003 5:03 pm, Forest Simmons wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Nov 2003, Rob Speer wrote:
> > 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
> > verification:
> >
> > * 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.
> > --
> Here in Oregon almost all voters vote by mail, just like voting absentee,
> except from home.
> This is for all elections, including the presidential election.
> The hardest part about this is the ease of losing your ballot before
> getting around to filling it out.

Vote by mail, huh? I need some more info on the pros/cons of this. Especially 
ensuring votes get to the election bureau. Do you get a return receipt? The 
problem I see with this is just the same I witness with voter registration 
cards...people just don't follow instructions properly. I think that is one 
of my biggest reasons for supporting e-voting.

> So far nobody has come over and tried to bribe me or coerce me into voting
> one way or another.
> There is a statement about the penalty for election fraud on the envelope
> that you sign (the outside envelope).
> The inside envelope is called the "ballot secrecy envelope."
> I believe that the systems proposed by Dave Ketchum and Eron Lloyd are
> much more fool proof than this Oregon system, but the e systems currently
> used in some parts of this country are vastly inferior, so it appears that
> we are moving backwards rather than forwards in this area.
> I hope this isn't part of the democracy education that Bush is so
> graciously scattering abroad to all of the backward countries that don't
> seem to understand who's really supposed to be in charge of resource
> distribution, etc.

Heh. If anyone hasn't already, be sure to check out the UN's ACE project, 
available @ www.aceproject.org. There is a ton of information on holding and 
administering elections. I am curious as to the best practices in protecting 
electoral integrity in developing democracies, especially those rife with 
violent internal conflict (South America, for instance).

Also, if everyone hasn't already, *PLEASE* head over to www.blackboxvoting.com 
and print out the full-text to Black Box Voting, the book. The final 3 
chapters just appeared on-line, and the hard-copy should be out shortly. I 
think we really have a crisis on our hands, and with the right promotion, 
this book could become the next "Unsafe at Any Speed". All other election 
issues aside, this should deserve our full attention.

> Forest


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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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