Thursday, November 13, 2003

Stream Of Commute - Touchscreen Voting - October 14, 2003

(these are spontaneous thoughts, flowing from head to keyboard, on the daily commute)

touch-screen misalignment and problems - solutions

1. after every selection, the actual selection should be shown on screen, with the text, and confirmed, or backed up to redo (and an alert sent to poll staff to determine why errors are happening)

by law, this display should be required in code to come from a redirect from the storage file, and not just from memory from the selection screen. this would greater ensure that the information, as selected, was entered into the storage file correctly.

in addition, this storage file should be read-only without exception. any modifications to the vote, initiated by the voter by a perceived discrepancy, MUST be a separate entry, and signed off specifically with the full signature, as opposed to the initial, of the voter, along with a poll worker that such and such modification happened at this time for ballot # X.

2. print-outs must be made, and ok'd/signed off by voter, if even requiring voter initial by each individual selection

#1 and #2 would ensure greatest levels of error handling by attentive voters (those voters in a hurry, or not taking care to see choices, will just initial down without distinction, but these kinds of voters can never be accounted for by any system)


allow for "not enough info" option for candidates and issues, so that we know if the information is getting to the electorate to make a sound choice. this could avoid random yes or no votes, and raise the standard by which such measures would pass, since yes's would still be required to have over 50%, or a plurality against the no's and don't know's.


one cannot count on each machine's printer to work, so should be networkable to main printers set up at polling place, to allow for paper review of election choices.


find a way to have unique id for each vote selection, accompanying the item on the paper receipt, so that the exact day and time of the selection, along with the voter registration number, may be determined (if this is currently associated with the ballot, the voter reg number, if not, then just the time, day, booth, and location). this should work with a complex algorythm, and be able to determine, in cases where fraud may be suspected, that the actual votes, as counted, on the paper receipts, occurred at the times and place that the polling place officials had logged in the voter.