[E-voting] The best VVAT is good for

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Mon Oct 24 16:36:40 IST 2005

Thanks, Colm, I take your point.  Too often (and this is what I did) 
VVAT is assumed to include electronic counting, when that is not 
necessarily the case.  (E.g., our proposed DREs but with a printed 
paper, but the central counting computer would do the counting--which is 
sort of what ICTE was originally proposing).

If we legislated /only/ that our DREs must supply a VVAT, that wouldn't 
solve anything.  It's how the ballots are counted that matters, and I 
agree completely with you that this should only be 100% by hand.  We 
would need to simultaneously legislate to confirm what is the real 
ballot (the paper), and how it is to be counted (by hand).  Otherwise, 
we end up with a DRE that produces an electronic vote and a paper vote, 
no guidance as to which has precedence and when, and how votes are to be 
counted and lots of potential problems.  ((If votes are usually counted 
electronically, but partial hand recount in xxx situation--VVAT becomes 
meaningless.  We cannot afford to ignore the US experience in this 
respect.)  That is what I was trying to point out.  Legislation that 
only mandates VVAT is not enough.


Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:

>On Mon, Oct 24, 2005 at 04:21:07PM +0100, Catherine Ansbro wrote:
>>VVAT only has value as a partial mitigation against the completely 
>>unacceptable option of a paper-less and unauditable DRE.  I.e., it is 
>>somewhat better than the worst-case situation.
>>But it is not a "solution" to aspire to, for the reasons I mentioned 
>>previously.  And it is dangerous in itself in that it can mislead people 
>>into thinking it is more of a solution than it is.
>I think this confuses the issue. A Voter Verified Audit Trail is simply
>a mechanism by which the voter has verified the correct recording of
>their vote :-)
>For example; the current, completely un-electronic voting system
>posesses a VVAT in the form of our ordinary ballot papers, That's all a
>VVAT is.

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