[EM] Suggested name for Range Voting: Free Voting

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Fri Jun 16 20:31:08 PDT 2006

My comments are about computers and programs; not about this election method.

On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 18:49:51 -0400 raphfrk at netscape.net wrote:

> Anthony O'Neal <thasupasacfitinman at gmail.com> wrote:
>>The sequential  method is vulnerable to vote management and introduces
>>tactical voting into it.
> The non-sequential method also suffers from tactical voting as I showed 
> above
> (unless I made an error).
>>It's also more vulnerable than a computer total
>>simply because people can just lie about the votes their getting as 
> they're
>>hand-counting them.

One possibility here is to have two people count a stack of ballots, each 
counter not knowing who else counted the same stack.  Having that as a 
basic plan, the counters should try hard and actually double counting 
every stack may not be worthwhile.

> Ok, we have a fundamental disagreement here.  In a hand count there 
> might
> be some small amount of fraud/error.  However, to really rig an 
> election,
> you need to get lots of counters involved.  Also, those counters are
> observed.  This makes it easier for there to be a small error but harder
> for their to be a massive error.
> A computer has a single point of failure (the program) and cannot be
> readily observed.  Also, the general public doesn't really understand
> computers and those that do are often wary of using computers to do the
> tally.

Computers can fail.

However the way they are packaged makes it easier or harder for evil 
operators to bias the results.

BUT, the program hopefully does what the programmer(s) told it to do:
      Programmers can make mistakes.  Any of these that get past testing 
can affect results.
      Communication between program and operators depends on their 
understanding each other.  This can fail.
      Evil people can program, or hire others to program as they desire. 
Most anything can happen, depending on the evil intent.

The horror stories about computers and elections demonstrate failure to 
demand quality when procuring such.

Now look at ATMs and other uses of computers.  Must be that more attention 
gets paid to quality for such.

>>For computer methods, the complexity doesn't matter.  It's just as 
> easy to
>>make a program that hurts candidates of one party in STV as it is in 
> PAV and
>>PRV.  And, actually, the only way to do STV elections without a 
> randomness
>>is to use a computer.

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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