[E-voting] VVAT implementation detail

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Tue Nov 2 20:03:02 GMT 2004


On Tuesday, November 02, 2004 7:06 PM [GMT],
Justin Mason <jm at jmason.org> wrote:

> This is going to be a busy day ;) Interesting design point to remember
> about creating VVATs: http://www.evoting-experts.com/index.php?p=28
>
>   The VeriVote printer attachment does create a real, contemporaneous
>   voter-verified paper trail, but it is fundamentally flawed because
>   its reel-to-reel design preserves the order of votes cast on each
>   machine, making it comparatively easy to reconstruct which voter
>   cast which vote. Other major vendors are creating similar designs.
>   For some reason there is little concern about this in the elections
>   community, so watch for this design to be proposed for
> certification in your state.

This is one of the reasons why I believe that if we have to have
"e-voting machines" at all, they should be little more than ballot
printers, and the user takes their printed ballot paper from the
machine, and personally inserts it into the ballot box. You can still
get "quick count" result that can be announced within hours of the polls
closing, but the result wouldn't be certified as official until the
ballots have been counted, using optical scanners that could process a
whole constituencies ballots in an few hours (you could do this at 3 or
4 national count centres, to minimise cost).

The voter has verified his or her vote, whoever wants a quick result
gets it, and the system is easily audited. And no hassle with perspex
screens, and complex schemes for managing printouts that don't match
what the voter remembers voting for (which is a far smaller issue in our
simple elections than in US ballots, which may have a dozen races on a
single ballot paper).

Aengus




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