[E-voting] experience with VVAT

Colm MacCarthaigh colm at stdlib.net
Mon Mar 27 11:11:11 IST 2006

On Mon, Mar 27, 2006 at 11:03:28AM +0100, Michael McMahon wrote:
> I think if we had to design a system *today* from scratch for the
> Irish election system, this is the one I'd go for.  Even at this
> stage, given the cost of storing the DREs (€1 million per year) it
> could make sense to just scrap them, and buy scanners (obviously a
> much smaller number of them) instead.

I'm the complete opposite. I'd buy ballot printers, and nothing else.
Gets rid of confusion about possible spoiled ballots and helps the
voter make sure their ballot is cast correctly.

I'd still insist on a human count.

> Scanning hand-written numbers is obviously more complicated than the
> simple marks in this system, but OCR software is easily capable of it.
> In fact, I would see it as an advantage, that gives the audit more
> purpose (in a practical sense) because of the inevitability that some
> people's hand-written scrawl would be unrecognisable and it is
> important that the machines correctly identify these ballots.

Having been on several spoils ajudication committees, I can tell you it's 
impossible. Besides, how could we know when to audit the output of the
scanners in the ordinary course of events? They would be subject to
potential fraud themselves.

Colm MacCárthaigh                        Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net

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