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New Voting Systems in CA a Total Shambles
KFI 640am | March 2, 2004

Posted on 03/02/2004 9:30:20 AM PST by Cinnamon Girl

KFI's reporter Eric Leonard was reporting various problems at polling places around CA, this morning. San Diego county, which invested millions in the Diebold touch screen computer system, is having problems with screens freezing up or computers being completely inoperable.

In Westminister and other parts of Orange County, voters are typing in the voting pin numbers and ONLY Democrat ballots are popping up.

Los Angeles County, which could not afford computer touch screen systems at this time (fortunately) is using the Inka system, which marks ballots with an ink mark in a circle. Someone who voted today told me his ink spots were outside the circles and, when shown to poll workers, was told it didn't matter. Does anyone know if these votes will still register?

It really seems that the punch card chad system was fine and good and there was no reason to revamp the system. With a punch card, there is physical evidence of the vote, and the voter can check to see that only the holes are punched out that they want. What was wrong with that?

I'm about to go vote. Please check in with your voting reports.


TOPICS: Announcements; US: California
KEYWORDS: 2004; blackboxvoting; electronicvoting
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Eric Leonard was reporting that the state is considering outlawing the Diebold touch screen system because it can be easily hacked. That's millions of dollars down the drain for San Diego county.
1 posted on 03/02/2004 9:30:20 AM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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To: Cinnamon Girl
San Diego county, which invested millions in the Diebold touch screen computer system, is having problems with screens freezing up or computers being completely inoperable.

Must be the new "tallying" program they installed locally.

Becki

2 posted on 03/02/2004 9:35:06 AM PST by Becki (Pray continually for our leaders and our troops!)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: liberalsaredogs
Good to know the ACLU hasn't stopped this primary election in its tracks. <sarcasm
4 posted on 03/02/2004 9:37:05 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
That's millions of dollars down the drain for San Diego county.

They don't care, its only taxpayer money.
5 posted on 03/02/2004 9:41:50 AM PST by hedgetrimmer
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To: Cinnamon Girl
Someone who voted today told me his ink spots were outside the circles...

How did they end up outside the circles?

6 posted on 03/02/2004 9:42:48 AM PST by EllaMinnow (The best days of America lie ahead GWB 2/23/04)
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To: redlipstick
Apparently it's indirectly marked. That is, you don't put a pen to paper and fill in the circles directly. I'll let you know when I get back from my polling station, where only one Republican booth is set up, and 15 Dem booths.
7 posted on 03/02/2004 9:44:04 AM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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To: Cinnamon Girl
This is real interesting since WA state is eventually going to graduate to these touch screens.
8 posted on 03/02/2004 9:45:05 AM PST by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
The Demonrats were the ones pushing for this system, right?

The Demonrats have just disenfranchised the Republican voters. I demand reparations!!!!
9 posted on 03/02/2004 9:45:21 AM PST by Chewbacca ("Turn off your machines! Walk off your jobs! Power to the People!" - The Ice Pirates)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
In Westminister and other parts of Orange County, voters are typing in the voting pin numbers and ONLY Democrat ballots are popping up.

Fraud!

Inquiry!

Recount!

Civil Rights Violations!

10 posted on 03/02/2004 9:46:28 AM PST by atomicpossum (I wish I had time for a nervous breakdown.)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
Thanks. It sounds like they once again made something more complicated when trying to make it simpler.
11 posted on 03/02/2004 9:47:16 AM PST by EllaMinnow (The best days of America lie ahead GWB 2/23/04)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
We vote in a neighbor's garage, and the booths aren't segretated. The poll worker announces "Need a Republican Ballot", the other poll worker hands them one, and everyone turns around and stares at the Republican that just walked in. Like a suburban version of a leper, I guess.
12 posted on 03/02/2004 9:47:18 AM PST by .38sw
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To: Cinnamon Girl
JFKerry was sure downplaying expectations this morning.
13 posted on 03/02/2004 9:48:19 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Chewbacca
The Demonrats were the ones pushing for this system, right?

Nope. Bill Jones, the Republican candidate for US Senate endorsed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, got the money ($200 million), certified the systems, and then became a consultant for the industry.

14 posted on 03/02/2004 9:51:52 AM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly stupid.)
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To: Chewbacca
The Demonrats were the ones pushing for this system, right?

Nope. Bill Jones, the Republican candidate endorsed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, got the money ($200 million), certified the systems, and then became a consultant for the industry. Diebold, one of the manufacturers, has been a big supporter the Bush Administration.

The systems are subject to tampering, produce no paper records, and you're getting them anyway.

15 posted on 03/02/2004 9:56:14 AM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly stupid.)
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To: Chewbacca
The Demonrats were the ones pushing for this system, right?

I think these were part of the voting reform bill the republicans pushed thru congress. The funding pretty much forced the states into one of three electronic systems, all of which have little or no security.

16 posted on 03/02/2004 9:57:20 AM PST by steve50 ("Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." -H. L. Mencken)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
It really seems that the punch card chad system was fine and good and there was no reason to revamp the system. With a punch card, there is physical evidence of the vote, and the voter can check to see that only the holes are punched out that they want. What was wrong with that?

The problem was the the politicos wanted to take more of the tax payers money for this bull sh*t. It's cost us multiple millions for something that was not even needed.

Big government just gets bigger.

17 posted on 03/02/2004 10:00:48 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Carry_Okie
Ok. I guess I was mistaken.

Sounds like someone was getting kick backs though.
18 posted on 03/02/2004 10:03:01 AM PST by Chewbacca ("Turn off your machines! Walk off your jobs! Power to the People!" - The Ice Pirates)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
For what it's worth, it worked just fine for me here. At least the voting process worked. As far as the tallying...we'll see.
19 posted on 03/02/2004 10:07:15 AM PST by RichInOC (...never had problems with the punchcards...maybe Palm Beach should have used O.C.'s system.)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
just voted in North San Diego county with the touchscreen. All went well.
20 posted on 03/02/2004 10:09:23 AM PST by conservcalgal ((I've been here since 1967 and I'm not leaving!!!!!!!))
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To: steve50
Eh, Diebold is becoming the new Halliburton to the Democrats, though.
21 posted on 03/02/2004 10:15:40 AM PST by John H K
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To: Cinnamon Girl
In Westminister and other parts of Orange County, voters are typing in the voting pin numbers and ONLY Democrat ballots are popping up.

Quelle coincidence.
22 posted on 03/02/2004 10:17:10 AM PST by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I shall defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
"In Westminister and other parts of Orange County, voters are typing in the voting pin numbers and ONLY Democrat ballots are popping up."

Oh, dear...and here all along I thought it was we evil Republicans that stole elections.

I mean unless you count Detroit...and Chicago...and New York...and Portland...and Florida...and San Diego.
23 posted on 03/02/2004 10:17:46 AM PST by Henrietta
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To: Cinnamon Girl
The Inka-Voting system in my precinct is pretty familiar. Its a high tech version of the familiar punch card system used for decades. Instead of punching out a chad with the stylus, you ink your choice in. By the way, turnout where I live was light compared to last October. People are bored and it looks like turnout will set a new low for a California primary election. People think nothing much is going to change and they're right, it won't.
24 posted on 03/02/2004 10:20:40 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: John H K
Eh, Diebold is becoming the new Halliburton to the Democrats, though.

These machines should be an outrage to any American who values his right to have a say in his rulers. The internal memos Harris got her hands on are damning by themselves.

25 posted on 03/02/2004 10:21:24 AM PST by steve50 ("Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." -H. L. Mencken)
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To: goldstategop
Good to know the ACLU hasn't stopped this primary election in its tracks.

I have no confidence the clowns in Cali and other states can get this straightened out by Nov. Lets hope it's not a close election...
26 posted on 03/02/2004 10:21:54 AM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: conservcalgal
just voted in North San Diego county with the touchscreen. All went well.

Don't you get it? It doesn't matter how the voting goes. They can change it later. The system is totally open to fraud. There is and can be no audit trail.

27 posted on 03/02/2004 10:25:31 AM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly stupid.)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
I heard that too and some people seemed to be having problems at my precinct.

That said I breezed through quickly.
28 posted on 03/02/2004 10:25:33 AM PST by NathanR (California Si! Aztlan NO!)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
Before Riverside Co., Ca got their electronic voting machines, we had ink dabbers to mark the paper ballots. Worked just fine then...the electronic machines really are wonderfully easy though. You would think they [San Diego]could have gotten for the price of some pizza and pepsi's, some high school geeks in there to fix the problem. Probably would have ferreted out said problems and had them solved in one day.

Red

29 posted on 03/02/2004 10:31:49 AM PST by Conservative4Ever (EVIL.......thy name is Hillary)
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To: goldstategop
I voted at approximately 7:50am and the polling place had one other Republican and no Democrats.

The number of booths was about equal for each. I guess my precinct is more Republican than my previous one, even though they're only blocks apart.

I just bought a home in the hills of Woodland Hills; I lived in a rented house in the flats before. Are hill-dwellers more Republican?

D
30 posted on 03/02/2004 10:31:58 AM PST by daviddennis (;)
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To: Cinnamon Girl; CounterCounterCulture
Welp, I just voted touchscreen.

The process went painlessly enough (although why is it poll workers invariably feel compelled to make SOME dumba$$ statement as you're signing in).

So now I'm sporting an "I VOTED TOUCHSCREEN" sticker. Yet it feels like a sign reading "KICK ME".
31 posted on 03/02/2004 10:41:54 AM PST by martin_fierro ("If there's one thing we actors know, it's ... er, what do we know again?")
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To: Cinnamon Girl; hchutch
KFI's reporter Eric Leonard was reporting various problems at polling places around CA, this morning. San Diego county, which invested millions in the Diebold touch screen computer system, is having problems with screens freezing up or computers being completely inoperable.

From what I saw when I tried to vote this morning, the voting software was not even installed.

32 posted on 03/02/2004 10:43:12 AM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Maj. Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
California rushed this project, with little concern for its accuracy or security. I posted this at FR several weeks ago.
California seeks to improve electronic-voting security
Mercury News ^ | Feb. 05, 2004 | Elise Ackerman
Posted on 02/07/2004 12:57:48 AM PST by calcowgirl

(snip)
California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley on Thursday announced measures to improve election security in the wake of a report describing how votes can be easily manipulated by hacking into an electronic voting system used across California. One in four California voters, including those in Alameda County, are expected to cast ballots in next month's presidential primary on electronic voting systems made by Diebold Election Systems. Last week, computer scientists hired by the state of Maryland to hack its Diebold voting system announced they had successfully changed vote tallies on touch-screen voting machines, altered ballots and seized control of a central vote-counting computer.

Read more at blackboxvoting.com
33 posted on 03/02/2004 10:43:39 AM PST by calcowgirl (No on Propositions 55, 56, 57, 58)
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To: liberalsaredogs
Punchcards and hand-written ballots only serve to disenfranchise dead Democratic voters you cad!
34 posted on 03/02/2004 10:46:49 AM PST by Doohickey ("This is a hard and dirty war, but when it's over, nothing will ever be too difficult again.)
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To: .38sw
just happened to me in Westwood... Two Repub booths and 8 Dem booths... Funny in a way but I felt like a winner...
35 posted on 03/02/2004 10:49:40 AM PST by ARA
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To: martin_fierro; Carry_Okie
Nobody commented on my registration. I did have poll worker that looked like Carole Migden (D-Lesbonia) here in San Jose, for what it's worth.

I don't even get any kind of receipt like we did with the punch-ballots, other than that worthless sticker.

BTW, I believe Pat Buchanan is winning with like 80% of the vote, but I could be wrong ;-)

36 posted on 03/02/2004 10:54:36 AM PST by CounterCounterCulture (Remember, name and town, name and town, if you wish to opine)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
Here in No. Orange Co. we had computer screens where you spun a dial to highlight in red who you wanted to vote for, then pressed "enter." It made me quite nervous not to have some sort of backup paper copy. There was also not the usual privacy. In the past we had the cardboard booths with plastic garbage bag curtain (casual, but worked great!) - today I could look over fairly easily and watch my husband voting. Weird.

We have previously always voted punch card here in O.C., and the rectangles punch out with such force I don't think a hanging chad would be possible! (Grin) I really think they jumped in to this new voting system without looking at the ramifications. Reminds me of when the local schools changed to a really stupid and uninformative numeric grading system (virtually all children qualified for a passing "3," whether they were at C or A grade level), and when my husband and others complained to the school board, the "powers that be" patted the "people" on the head and ignored their concerns, which were very obvious to any "man (or woman) on the street." Three years later, they changed the grading system because of the very concerns expressed by my husband. Long story short, I think the same thing will happen with this electronic voting -- all of us are saying "But what about hacking? security? fraud?" and I'm expecting by the 2008 Presidential election we're going to finally hear "Uh, yeah, this new system has some problems..." But meanwhile what damage will be done?
37 posted on 03/02/2004 10:59:03 AM PST by GOPrincess
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To: Cinnamon Girl
Here in No. Orange Co. we had computer screens where you spun a dial to highlight in red who you wanted to vote for, then pressed "enter." It made me quite nervous not to have some sort of backup paper copy. There was also not the usual privacy. In the past we had the cardboard booths with plastic garbage bag curtain (casual, but worked great!) - today I could look over fairly easily and watch my husband voting. Weird.

We have previously always voted punch card here in O.C., and the rectangles punch out with such force I don't think a hanging chad would be possible! (Grin) I really think they jumped in to this new voting system without looking at the ramifications. Reminds me of when the local schools changed to a really stupid and uninformative numeric grading system (virtually all children qualified for a passing "3," whether they were at C or A grade level), and when my husband and others complained to the school board, the "powers that be" patted the "people" on the head and ignored their concerns, which were very obvious to any "man (or woman) on the street." Three years later, they changed the grading system because of the very concerns expressed by my husband. Long story short, I think the same thing will happen with this electronic voting -- all of us are saying "But what about hacking? security? fraud?" and I'm expecting by the 2008 Presidential election we're going to finally hear "Uh, yeah, this new system has some problems..." But meanwhile what damage will be done?
38 posted on 03/02/2004 10:59:03 AM PST by GOPrincess
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.
.
I hate electronic voting.
.
.
39 posted on 03/02/2004 11:00:51 AM PST by Hanging Chad
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To: Carry_Okie
what would you like to see the system do?
40 posted on 03/02/2004 11:00:57 AM PST by oceanview
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To: Cinnamon Girl
paper ballots ... anything less will lead to false elections.
41 posted on 03/02/2004 11:10:43 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you must; perform without fail that what you resolve.)
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To: daviddennis; hole_n_one
Hi. I just got back from voting. There were 11 Dem booths and 3 Rep. booths. I had to wait to use the one Rep booth set up for my district.

From what I saw, the elderly ladies with blue, purple, pink, or orange hair were out voting in FULL FORCE.

I liked the punch cards better, but I was able to work the inka circles. I recommend checking to see that you actually did mark in the circle you wanted, though.

My vote counts about 10 TIMES! Yeay!

42 posted on 03/02/2004 11:42:48 AM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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To: Cinnamon Girl
My polling place workers seemed absolutely thrilled by the new "no more chads!" ballots, but I can't say I saw a frightful lot of difference. Looked like essentially the same system to me.

I did notice that the pen they issued was marking the ballot, insofar as I could tell correctly.

Where is your district? Mine's Woodland Hills up in the hills.

D
43 posted on 03/02/2004 11:47:30 AM PST by daviddennis (;)
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To: liberalsaredogs
Time to use simple, handwritten ballots, and the heck with all this machine or computer based stuff which are too easy to hack or malfunction on their own.

You have obviously never counted paper ballots.

44 posted on 03/02/2004 11:51:44 AM PST by sphinx
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To: daviddennis
Yeah, it puts a dot on the ballot, but you do need to make sure it marked fully the circle that you wanted. That's all. Not a big deal.
45 posted on 03/02/2004 12:06:24 PM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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To: Chewbacca
The Demonrats were the ones pushing for this system, right?
The Demonrats have just disenfranchised the Republican voters. I demand reparations!!!!

I smell a rat, but unfortunately, they may be among us. Our own Republican candidate for US Senate, Bill Jones, was certainly not looking us.

San Diego Union-Tribune February 9, 2004

In September 2001, former Secretary of State Bill Jones ordered San Diego and eight other California counties to end their use of their punch-card voting system.

The order came in the wake of the controversy over disputed ballots cast in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. Also, at the time, a coalition of organizations had sued the state to end the use of punch-card ballots.

LA Times February 26, 2004

Jones went to work for a short time last year as a $10,000-a-month consultant to Sequoia Voting Systems, a touch-screen voting machine company. His primary responsibility: giving the company entree to officials in other states. Jones and the company parted ways shortly before he announced his run for U.S. Senate, and after news reports critical of his consulting work so soon after leaving office.


46 posted on 03/02/2004 12:38:25 PM PST by calcowgirl (No on Propositions 55, 56, 57, 58)
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To: oceanview
what would you like to see the system do?

You asked. ;-)

Here's a pertinent piece I wrote in December 2002.

Ballot Transparency to Eliminate Fraudulent Counts

Voters have read and seen all sorts of assurances that the new touch-screen balloting systems are fool proof, tamper proof, and nothing to worry about. Many, including those who are familiar with the technology, are not at all reassured.

The concerns are on two levels. First, from the perspective of those not familiar with the technology, it is a device whose inner workings and inherent security they cannot possibly understand. If they can't understand it, how can they be assured that it is honest? Second, those who DO understand signal processing, software, and communications technology know that is far too easy to defraud the system in a way that would be irreversible and undetected. Either way, touch-screens are a loser.

Now, as users of ATMs, cell phones, the Internet, and other electronic media, it might at first seem a little strange that so many people have such concerns. Upon further consideration however, the key distinctions between voting and a service handling mere money become obvious:

  • Customers have a choice of banking vendors. Citizens don’t have a choice of governments.
  • There is a major difference between mere financial assets at risk, and a risk to individual liberty.

Governments are monopolies. One can go down the street to another bank and take the offending bank to court. An evil government can land you in prison (or worse) because they ARE the court. The stakes associated with voter fraud are far higher than with an ATM and so is the temptation to defraud the system.

Necessary and Sufficient

So, given that we are still smarting over hanging chads, what are the alternatives? Let’s begin to answer that question by looking at the requirements.

  1. The system has to be simple and familiar to the voter.
  2. There must be NO SOFTWARE involved, because it is too easy to change.
  3. The system must be capable of completely manual operation.
  4. The count must be capable of being validated by all parties involved and each count must be separate and distinct.
  5. There must be no possibility to count a ballot twice or "lose" counts along the way.

Electronic sensors and interlocks are permissible as long as they can be duplicated manually.

Here is my proposal for a system that meets these requirements:

At the Polling Place

  1. Ballot boxes are preprinted, serialized and tracked by a physical chain-of-custody document.
  2. The box must be destroyed to be opened.
  3. The box is locked under a ballot receiving machine.
  4. The ballot receiving machine at the polling place reads the box number and records it on the ballot in Scantron form on the back side (fill in the dots). Note that one could do the same manually under observation.
  5. The voter completes the standard optical ballot and delivers it to the receiving machine.
  6. The machine prints the box number on the back of every ballot it accepts with a Scantron dot pattern. This too can be both read and performed manually. Then a dry film coating (basically an adhesive or heat activated tape) is applied to the ballot on the way into the sealed ballot box.
  7. The coating is transparent but reveals a "watermark" when exposed to UV light. The ballot is now tamperproof.
  8. The receiving machine totals the number of ballots in every box. The total is read manually and a receipt is delivered to each political party and candidate detailing the box numbers, precincts, and tally of ballots in every uniquely identified box.
  9. Representatives of all Parties check the box tallies before the boxes leave the polling place.
  10. If they agree on its accuracy, they record the ballot tally on the box using Scantron dots, initial it, and put a similar dry film over the number.

Note that the Scantron pattern is the perfect bridge between human and machine. It is readable by people for manual counting but does not require an optical character reading machine that needs cameras or software.

Both parties thus know the EXACT number of ballots cast in every precinct and in every box. Every box is signed. All parties can thus run check sums at the processing centers and verify the chain-of-custody.

At the Ballot Counting Center

  1. The total of the ballots on the box is read by the counting machine. It would be very similar to the existing optical reader and might only require very minor modifications.
  2. The counting machine reads the box code for precinct and ballot count or accepts that data input from a keypad read off the box by at least two witnesses with keys. The machine will not count the ballots without the UV visible watermark on the ballot over the votes AND matching precinct codes on the box and the ballot.
  3. The machine halts and will not display the vote totals if the number of ballots recorded on the box and the number it counts do not match.
  4. The ballots leave the counting machine get a NEW ballot box. Counted ballots are stamped again with output box number, recoated, and then deposited into the new sealed ballot box.
  5. The new coating was applied in case of a recount, thus each ballot thus maintains a recount history.

47 posted on 03/02/2004 12:49:29 PM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly stupid.)
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To: Cinnamon Girl
My ballot wasn't perfectly aligned with the machine, so all my pen marks were partly in, partly out of the circles. I asked a poll worker if that was a problem, she said "No."

There were about 5 Democratic booths, and only 2 Republican booths. The poll worker announced out loud , "He's a Republican", and she told me, "Go down there to the end of the room. There's your booth."

After I finished, they just matter-of-factly thanked me, and didn't even give me that little sticker that said I voted.

All the poll workers were over 60, except a young woman about 20 with a little baby who was chewing on a piece of campaign literature.
I commented to the young mom, "I feel the same way" and she just stared at me.

Definitely felt the cold shoulder.
48 posted on 03/02/2004 12:53:32 PM PST by Deo volente (God willing, Terri Schiavo will live.)
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To: Deo volente
Well, the good news is, if you use the touch screen system, you can get $40 cash back.
49 posted on 03/02/2004 1:40:56 PM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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To: Cinnamon Girl
I'm thinking he machines are difficult to hack; that's why they quit working when you try

The paper ballots that you mark are the only way o go. They have everything: security recountability. All they need to be perfect is a "none of the above" slot to prevent null votes from being filled in by election workers.
50 posted on 03/02/2004 1:54:04 PM PST by js1138
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