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View Diary: How to Repair the Voting System: Sec. Debra Bowen's Answer (302 comments)

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  •  Yes, we are not communicating (1+ / 0-)
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    HudsonValleyMark

    My main comment was to the diary and was addressing the "simple answer".

    So my comment was geared to the notion that somehow Optical Scan was better due to the reasoning postulated by the diarist, particularly items 1 and 2. I didn't address 3.

    From there you and I are down the path where you are discussing whether or not one system offers the prospect of the voter actually looked at the ballot with more likelihood than the other. I agree with what you say. This is the part where we were talking past each other.

    However, no matter how many times you looked at your paper ballot, if it goes into an optical scanner that isn't calibrated correctly all of that is for naught. All you got out of the experience was the pacification that you had a ballot in your hand and marked the way you wanted - unaware that those carefully marked and looked at ballot selections won't be counted as you intended.

    This is in no way different than someone that would feel comfortable using a DRE, was confident of their choices, reviewed them, confirmed the VVPAT and cast their ballot. They too would have been pacified by the experience of the VVPAT.

    So it is in the context of a miscalibrated or compromised machine, whether the scanner or DRE, that renders the VVPAT or ballot as merely a user pacifier because it either case one or more of your selections will not be counted as you intended. By the same token this is also true in a system, scanner or DRE, where the voter knows with certainty that the selections will be counted as intended.

    While it (ballot or paper tape) becomes a record of the vote in most states it is never examined except if an audit or recount is mandated by law or by a court with jurisdiction. If neither of those occurs the paper ballot or the portion of the paper tape containing your ballot viewed via VVPAT served no other purpose than as a user pacifier.

    In the context of whether paper ballot or a VVPAT is better in terms of a voter actually looking at and verifying their selections I agree with you. There is a difference, absolutely.  

    One thing I do want to make clear is that I am not defending VVPAT nor expressing any argument that it is better than use of optical scan paper ballots. If given a choice between the two I would always choose optical scan with paper ballots.

    •  OK -- we may disagree on part of this (1+ / 0-)
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      MindRayge
      While it (ballot or paper tape) becomes a record of the vote in most states it is never examined except if an audit or recount is mandated by law or by a court with jurisdiction. If neither of those occurs the paper ballot or the portion of the paper tape containing your ballot viewed via VVPAT served no other purpose than as a user pacifier.
      I don't agree with that statement in principle. A well-designed audit provision protects everyone, not just the people whose ballots happen to be examined. Good recount provisions benefit everyone, even when they aren't used.

      So I try to draw a bright line about when paper is or isn't a placebo.

      Election protection: there's an app for that! -- and a toll-free hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:02:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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