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Utah Count Votes!
Information to maintain Utah's excellent reputation for honest accurate elections.
Please help ensure that "Utah Counts All Votes"
Paper-Under-Glass Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail
puts election integrity at risk.
Accuracy Depends on Being Able to Detect and Correct Errors.
Thermal paper roll "voter verifiable paper audit trails (vvpat)"
are not practically countable by a state's own election officials! In Nevada the Nov. 04
election resulted in large discrepancies between the exit polls and the presidential
election results. The Green party tried to
obtain a recount of the DRE paper roll audit trail only to find out that outside experts
recommended by the
voting machine vendor had to be hired at huge expense to count them. No recount was performed.
Later, the NV Secretary of State claimed that all counties audited the paper rolls, but this story
was found to be false by investigators who phoned several counties and found out that some counties had
merely tested the print programs by re-printing the electronic counts and had sealed and never
opened or examined
the paper rolls.
- Counting the paper rolls by hand could be a difficult process and requires a special piece of equipment to set the paper roll into in order to advance it. Counting the paper rolls
electronically requires paper roll advancers, scanners, laptops, software, and technicians. The same errors made in
the original electronic ballots could be made on the barcodes or in the software to count the barcodes.
- The voter must take an extra step to verify that the small paper roll writing matches the
computer screen. Studies have shown that most voters do not bother to verify their votes. Of voters who do attempt to verify, often mistakes or omissions on the paper rolls are missed.
- A computer hacker could easily make the paper record be wrong and match a wrong electronic record for all ballots where the voter does not check the paper roll. This hack could steal roughly 2/3rds of the target votes in a way that a manual audit could not detect.
- The voter has no way to know if the votes are recorded properly inside the computer or on the barcode on the paper roll.
- Voter anonymity is not protected from poll workers because votes are stored in the
same order as voters enter the polling booth. Poll workers who have to fix a printer, etc
may find out how we voted.
- Flimsy paper rolls are impractical and do tear while in use, are not durable to store and use for recounts. If as in some systems, the paper is cut, how would we to stack, store, and count curled up, flimsy pieces of paper? The only way to catch possible errors in
electronic vote tallies is to count the paper ballots, which may be very inconvenient
with paper-under-glass rolls.
- Storing the ballots of all previous voters in the voting booth
may have interesting advantages for hackers who might bring pliers, box cutters, or other tools
into the voting booths to steal prior voters' ballot records. Will we need
metal detectors at every polling place and frisk
persons in wheelchairs to prevent mischievious theft of ballot records?
In sum, while paper-under-glass VVPAT might introduce new fun for election hackers and poll workers
wanting to know how we voted, it is doubtful that they would increase election integrity.
Computer scientists in each state are better qualified to set requirements for voter verified
paper ballots to ensure honest accurate elections, than are commercial vendors.
a much better easily re-countable ballot that can be printed, verified, and then
placed in a ballot box by the voter. Try out the online demo and print the ballot
it generates to see for yourself.
Better voting systems designed by computer
scientists can be developed in time to meet HAVA 2006 deadlines.