[E-voting] intriguing possibilities using digial scanners

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Sun Sep 11 15:35:53 IST 2005

On Saturday, September 10, 2005 7:14 PM [EDT],
Catherine Ansbro <cansbro at eircom.net> wrote:

> Finnish computer expert Harri Hursti has apparently developed some new
> methodology using existing optical scanners which produce a digital
> image.  (This doesn't relate to older scanners or ones that use
> infrared technology.)  Apparently he's developed open source
> software.  In the USA a scanned image of a ballot is considered to be
> a public record so at least in theory people should be able to get a
> copy of all the ballot images, and count them for themselves, with or
> without software.
> Could this be of interest here?  Snag--I don't think we have any
> similar rules here relating to /images/ of ballots as public records.

That's not the real snag. We've already discussed the issue here of whether
publishing the list of ballots produced by a Powervote count machine would
potentially compromise the secrecy of the ballot, given the permutations
possible with any STV vote. The ballots were published from the first set of
pilots for the Neadp/PowerVote machines, but not (as far as I am aware) from
the second set of pilots here. There's certainly no legal provision
requiring them to be made available, which effectively means that they
aren't available.

(In the US, records tend to be publicly available unless explicitly made


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