[EM] Paul: Counts

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at lavabit.com
Mon Apr 30 14:34:45 PDT 2012

On 04/29/2012 05:43 AM, Paul Kislanko wrote:
> Mike, I asked what ballots are you going to hand-count. I vote by
> touching a touch-screen, and the machine gives me a receipt. You say I
> COULD give you a paper ballot to hand-count, but if I just voted by
> pressing a portion of a touch-sensitive-display-screen, what are you
> going to hand-count? My touch is not verifiable by a hand-count of what
> the machine recorded. It can only be verified by asking me if what your
> machine’s record matches what the machine printed out for me. And you
> can’t “hand count” that without asking me if what you’re counting
> matched my ballot. And you can’t do THAT without violating the
> principles of all voting systems.

Though I've not been part of the thread, I'd say that my own preference 
is for voting machines - if you have to use them - to be like very 
expensive pencils. The voter makes his choices, the machine prints a 
ballot and shows it behind a clear barrier, and then the voter either 
pushes agree or not agree. If he pushes agree, the ballot is deposited 
in the box - if he pushes not agree, it's destroyed.

The paper ballots can then be counted by optical scan and a subset 
manually verified, and the process is transparent. If someone alters the 
software of the expensive pencil, then it'll become obvious soon enough; 
similarly, if someone alters the optical counter's software, the manual 
verification will make it clear. The manual verification can be done 
with people of all major parties present to make corruption of the 
verifiers unlikely.

Over here, we don't have end-user voting machines at all. Since the 
method is party list, a voter just picks the relevant preprinted ballot, 
folds it to obscure the contents, and drops it in the box. The ballots 
are counted by optical scan.

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