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View Diary: "Election Reform": Bringing Back The Big Ideas (139 comments)

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  •  Encryption Doesn't Help (none)

    Then the employer just says "Give me a decrypted copy of your receipt or you'll be fired for this minor offense." And ballots that have been taken home don't help with the integrity of the system in any way - they wouldn't be admissable/useful for any kind of recount effort. So we have to push for a system where the voter-verified paper trail is stored at a trusted location under lock and key, and the voter can't forget to deposit or walk off with their ballot.

    I think the best proposal I've seen for this is touch-screen voting machines that basically just print ballots. The printed ballots are then the only legal ballot, and are counted either by scanners or by hand. You could even have it print braile on the ballot for blind people.

    Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

    by RHunter on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 09:17:59 AM PST

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    •  When you use an ATM (none)
      and make a deposit, it prints a receipt for that deposit and then asks you if you have any more transactions.  That's what I'd like to see.

      You go to the voting machine, choose your candidates, hit done, the receipt prints and you check it over while the machine gives you, let's say a minute before it starts beeping to remind you to press OK or EDIT (or something to that effect).
      If it's ok, your screen clears and you pop the receipt in a traditional type ballot box.  If it's EDIT, you redo the ballot and print again.

      Of course we have to account for the rejected receipts.  
      Maybe they're fed back into the machine before it proceeds with your edit to ensure it's accounted for.  Maybe you have to call a poll worker over to put it in a special locked box and authorizse your edit request.

      Thinking off the top of my head.

      •  Receipts (none)

        The problem, though, is that people cannot be allowed to take the receipts home with them. If the system allows/requires that, then it allows all kinds of pressure/vote-buying fraud that we don't want.

        I think your point about edit requests is a good one. After all, what happens when you get an incorrect ballot (not a receipt - a receipt is something you take home with you. Making the printout the legal ballot is a vital distinction) or decide you want to change your vote after printing but before you deposit the ballot? I think your first solution's a good one, though it might be a little paper-intensive.

        Of course, this is only really an issue if people decide they absolutely must have machines. I'd be in favour of Canadian-style paper ballots, even with the number of races typically on the ticket in the US...

        Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

        by RHunter on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 09:48:42 AM PST

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        •  Receipt (none)
          it could just have a coded number on it that could be used (online or by phone) to retrieve the actual vote information.  Maybe in conjunction with a pin number?

          Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

          by Catriana on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 01:34:59 PM PST

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          •  Cannot Be Possible (none)

            Votes have to be totally divorced from the voter. The system cannot ever, at any point, associate a voter with a vote. As soon as you do so, you open the door to intimidation and vote-buying. Even with a PIN number or a phone scheme. Besides, what good does it do?

            Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

            by RHunter on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 01:50:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good point. (none)
              I guess I was thinking for verifiability... "Do not lose this stub, it is a record of your vote."  But you're probably right.  People like me would just lost the receipt anyway, so its unreliable at best and a violation of privace at worst.

              Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

              by Catriana on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 01:54:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Election Lottery (none)
        There should be a receipt given to each person saying that they voted but with no indication of their choice.  These receipts should have a unique number that the board of elections will use for random sampling.  

        To help fund all of the reforms, let corporations advertise on the backs of these receipts.  Then, to encourage people to keep these receipts, corporations can have a sweepstakes where prizes are awarded to the person with a particular ballot number.  This will have the effect of encouraging people to vote, especially the poor and disenfranchised.

        For once, let's have a lottery that actually HELPS the poor.

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