[E-voting] "Provisional Ballots" {subj. was: Compulsory voting}

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Mon Sep 12 20:37:52 IST 2005

It should be possible for us to concoct a provisional ballot system that 
could be used from within any location in Ireland.  Just imagine a piece 
of paper with a bunch of blanks.  The person could fill in the name of 
the Constituency or Local/European election Area at the top.  Then there 
could be blanks to write in the names the person wanted to rank, with 
boxes on the side for them to indicate their rank.  It would put 
responsibility on the voter to know what the candidate options were for 
their area (or maybe there could be a separate PC or 2 onsite that 
voters could use to get this info off a national website or CD).   There 
could be extra ID and address proof required, which would have to be 
vouched for by both poll workers.

Then the only complication would be secure transport of these non-local 
ballots to their correct counting centre and confirmation that the voter 
is registered to vote.  There'd have to be immaculate tracking of the 
no. of ballots going out of each polling place, and where they were 
going to, and same on the receiving side.

It would be a bit of administrative hassle but on the other hand it 
would mean that anyone could vote from anywhere in the country.  Since 
we don't usually have two many elections or referenda at the same time 
this shouldn't be too difficult.


Marian Beddill wrote:

> At 9/12/2005  01:43 AM, Michael McMahon wrote:
>> Marian Beddill wrote On 09/12/05 03:17,:
>> >> I've said this before, but IMHO voters should in the future, be able
>> >> to vote from any polling station
>> >> in the country so long as they can prove their identity. It's not
>> >> practical though with
>> >> paper ballot based systems, (unlike electronic receipt based systems).
>> >
>> > I know that it is practical.  We do it in my state.  A vote cast at a
>> > polling station not that of your residence, is defined as a 
>> "provisional
>> > vote".  They are distinguished by some indicator - like a different
>> > color of ballot or envelope, though dropped into the same (single)
>> > sealed ballot box for transport to the central.
>> >
>> > When there, they are sent to a review panel composed of senior
>> > employees, an elected official, a lawyer, or folks of that caliber.
>> > That review group compares the info with the ballot - of voter ID and
>> > the master voter registry.  Then they judge whether the ballot shall be
>> > allowed in the proper precinct (jurisdiction) or declared invalid.
>> >
>> That's interesting. I had heard of the term provisional ballots, but 
>> never
>> knew what it meant.
>> Presumably though it is only possible within an area where the same
>> ballot paper is being used. What I was thinking about was in the Irish
>> context where there are around forty different constituencies and 
>> therefore
>> forty different ballot papers. I think that situation is more practical
>> with receipt based electronic systems (just like the similar point 
>> about having
>> ballot papers in multiple languages). First, you don't have to predict
>> the numbers of different ballot papers to distribute around the country
>> and second it is easier to transport votes electronically than to 
>> physically
>> send them around the country. But I certainly accept that voting from
>> any polling station should be practical within the same constituency 
>> here.
>> Michael.
> True, that if the provisional ballot is cast using a "ballot style"(*) 
> where the ballot cast is different from that of the voters' precinct 
> of residency, only the questions in common get counted - the others 
> are treated as "blank" - no vote. 
> (*) "ballot style", at least in my community, is the technical term 
> meaning just what Michael pointed out:   different constituencies and 
> therefore different ballots.  To be complete, here it also means the 
> sub-areas of a voting precinct, split for minor questions like funding 
> or commissioners of a specific program or activity - fire protection, 
> cemetery or parks management, when not under the main jurisdiction.
> Marian Beddill
>E-voting mailing list
>E-voting at lists.stdlib.net

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