[nSLUG] HRM wants to try online voting

Jason Kenney jason at ohm.ath.cx
Wed Jan 14 02:35:26 AST 2004

> >The current (paper) system can be understood by anyone. I don't think
> >any kind of automated system could be made simple enough to be
> >understood by just anyone... The standard that (should) applies to
> I'm not sure I agree. I heard just today on the CBC about a
> computerized voting system that relies on optical reading technology.
> Therefore the voter need only understand what he already understands:
> how to mark his vote on a paper ballot. The computer then reads the
> ballot and counts it. It can also be programmed, of course, to
> automatically pick up on inappropriately marked ballots (too many
> candidates selected, none selected, etc.) and notify the voter *right
> then* that their ballot has been spoiled and will not be counted, thus
> giving them the opportunity to resubmit if desired.

I don't see the point of an OCR system.
See below.

> This system has benefits other than the one explained above: it is also
> faster than human vote counting; it retains the paper evidence of the
> vote (it's not all-electronic) should need or desire for an audit
> arise.
> Sounds plausible to me.

How long does it take to count the votes as it is now? Under an hour in 
almost all cases. I also believe that all parties are entitled to have 
representatives witness the counting process. They can also request a 

If you have a computer counting the votes, then if a recount is requested, 
it would surely have to be done by hand again anyway. It seems like all 
that is being accomplished is moving from writing on paper to writing on a 
screen because it's more fun - not any more functional.

In the case of a spoiled ballot, I think most people are capable of not 
spoiling a ballot - unless they intend to.

I'd be willing to bet the cost of this system would pay for quite a few 


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