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HAVA Look: A Simple, Verifiable, Open Source, Paper Ballot Vote-Recording & Counting System -- TIA [View All]

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tiptoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 08:02 AM
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HAVA Look: A Simple, Verifiable, Open Source, Paper Ballot Vote-Recording & Counting System -- TIA
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HAVA Look:  A Simple, Verifiable, Open Source, Paper Ballot Vote-Recording & Counting System



Thanks to HAVA, elections are vulnerable to multiple vote miscounts: at the precinct level with closed-source, diverse, proprietary code-based touch screens (DREs) and Optical scanners and then on closed-source, proprietary Central Tabulators. They have you coming and going.

On the other hand, paper ballots can easily be input to a standard personal computer spreadsheet. Voters can request a copy before leaving the precinct. The precinct (spreadsheet) file is uploaded to the Internet. The voter can quickly and easily verify his vote as the spreadsheet ballot records are sorted by a unique Precinct/Ballot ID code. At the same time, he can view and/or download the total precinct ballots to verify the vote counts. Consolidation of district/county/state vote counts is tabulated by Open Source software.

Three (3) volunteers input and verify the paper ballots. As Volunteer A reads the ballot, B enters the data and C verifies the result. Data entry would be completed shortly after the polls closed. The voter fills out a ballot marking each selected candidate's code (i.e. a=Dem, b=Rep, c=Ind). The volunteers use their god-given optical scanners (EYES) to read the ballots and enter the codes in a spreadsheet. As each code is entered, the spreadsheet automatically calculates the total vote and percentage for each candidate.

The following simple steps complete the process:
  • Print the spreadsheet (1 minute).
  • Upload it to the Internet (10 seconds) so anyone can check the precinct results.
  • Upload the sheet to the Central Tabulator (10 seconds).

  • The published totals should match the precinct totals on the Internet and the local PC.


  • There are approximately 200,000 precincts nationwide, an average of 4,000 per state. How much would it cost and how long would it take to process and count the votes in an average precinct of 600 voters?
  • Just one (1) $400 Personal Computer is used for ballot data entry
  • $100 Printer
  • $100 Spreadsheet

  • Assuming that data entry/verification takes 1 minute per voter, total data entry time would be 600 minutes (10 hours), which can be spread out over 12 hours on Election Day. Larger precincts could install additional PCs and add volunteers as necessary. The individual PC spreadsheets would be combined into a single file (sorted by Ballot ID) for uploading to the Internet.


  • There are many advantages over the current, vulnerable system. HAVA look:
    • Data redundancy:

      1. Original paper ballots: retained in a secure location
      2. Precinct spreadsheet files: ballots sorted by ballot ID
      3. Internet: copies of uploaded precinct files for online viewing/download
      4. Internet: County/state composite files (vote totals sorted by precinct/county) for online viewing

    • Data / software integrity:

      1. Original paper ballots: documented chain of custody
      2. Data integrity (100% automatic audit to catch discrepancies between the local precinct spreadsheet and corresponding internet file
      3. Open Source code: eliminate proprietary code on DRE/ Optiscan/ central tabulator

    • Eliminate corrupting influence of vendors and election officials:

      1. Hardware: Eliminate bribery of election officials for purchase of DREs and optical scanners
      2. Diebold/Premier & ES&S out of the DRE/Opscan voting machine business

    A Simple Precinct Spreadsheet Vote Recorder

    Example:
    Precinct 101 (500 voters)
    Party Code: a=Dem, b=Rep, c=Ind
    Voter Ballot Code: 101xxxxxx

    Note: Totals are calculated using the Excel function: COUNTIF (range, party code).
    For example, the total number of Democratic (column B, rows 10-509) votes for president:
    242 =COUNTIF (b10.b509,a)

    Pres Senate Congress Other1 Other2 Other3 Other4 Other5 Other6 Other7 Other8
    Totals
    Dem 242 233 252 242 233 252 242 233 252 242 233
    Rep 234 244 225 234 244 225 234 244 225 234 244
    Ind 24 23 23 24 23 23 24 23 23 24 23
    BallotID
    1010001 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010002 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010003 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010004 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010005 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010006 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010007 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010008 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010009 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010010 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010011 b b b b b b b b b b b
    ... ...
    1010490 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010491 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010492 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010493 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010494 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010495 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010496 b b b b b b b b b b b
    1010497 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010498 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010499 a a a a a a a a a a a
    1010500 b b b b b b b b b b b





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      -HAVA Look: A Simple, Verifiable, Open Source, Paper Ballot Vote-Recording & Counting System -- TIA tiptoe  Jul-17-08 08:02 AM   #0 
      - Did I miss something? Or is this a joke?  Wilms   Jul-17-08 08:37 AM   #1 
      - Where in the original post ...  Trajan   Jul-17-08 08:52 AM   #3 
      - In the opening paragraph.  Wilms   Jul-17-08 09:09 AM   #5 
         - Wrong .... You are misdirecting ...  Trajan   Jul-17-08 09:26 AM   #7 
            - So elections weren't vulnerable before HAVA?  Wilms   Jul-17-08 09:59 AM   #9 
            - Beside the point ...  Trajan   Jul-17-08 08:24 PM   #16 
               - So there were no DRE's before HAVA?  Wilms   Jul-17-08 08:39 PM   #17 
               - maybe if we reviewed the OP...  OnTheOtherHand   Jul-17-08 08:40 PM   #18 
                  - Wilms made a statement redefining the OP's intent ....  Trajan   Jul-17-08 08:45 PM   #20 
                     - What strawman?  Wilms   Jul-17-08 08:49 PM   #22 
            - kick nt  tiptoe   Jan-29-09 08:35 AM   #37 
      - Yes. You missed something.  NCevilDUer   Jul-17-08 08:56 AM   #4 
         - No. You missed something.  Wilms   Jul-17-08 09:13 AM   #6 
         - There's no problem there.  NCevilDUer   Jul-17-08 09:53 AM   #8 
            - And that vote can then be bought or sold or coerced.  Wilms   Jul-17-08 10:01 AM   #10 
               - How?  NCevilDUer   Jul-17-08 10:25 AM   #11 
                  - I know all about the voter fraud argument.  Wilms   Jul-17-08 08:44 PM   #19 
         - HAVA mandated one accessible voting system per precinct  WillYourVoteBCounted   Jan-29-09 10:35 AM   #38 
         - PS - HAVA didn't mandate voting computers - but mandated accessibility  WillYourVoteBCounted   Jan-29-09 10:36 AM   #39 
      - The actual cost of an open-source spreadsheet: $0  electropop   Jul-17-08 08:38 AM   #2 
      - Sounds like a good idea to me. Almost anything is better than what we've got.  Stevepol   Jul-17-08 01:49 PM   #12 
      - K&R.nt  kster   Jul-17-08 02:50 PM   #13 
      - How can Open Source possibly be a viable alternative????  diva77   Jul-17-08 03:21 PM   #14 
      - It's a transparent PAPER BALLOT subsys...w no vote-recording,-storage,-counting by black boxes.  tiptoe   Jul-17-08 04:39 PM   #15 
         - You recommended giving the voter a copy of the ballot.  Wilms   Jul-17-08 08:46 PM   #21 
            - I read what diva said. *You* re-read what Diva said and then try to think  tiptoe   Jul-17-08 11:43 PM   #23 
            - The idea seems well intentioned enough.  Wilms   Jul-18-08 12:21 AM   #25 
               - How am I advocating "non-secret voting"? nt  tiptoe   Jul-18-08 01:43 AM   #26 
                  - "Voters can request a copy before leaving the precinct. "  Wilms   Jul-18-08 06:25 AM   #28 
                     - given the thugginess of one of the political parties  tiptoe   Jul-18-08 07:38 PM   #29 
                        - Of course you left out coercion...the main reason secret voting is valued.  Wilms   Jul-18-08 09:52 PM   #30 
            - a copy/representation of his forfeited "official ballot". Shouldn't the voter be so entitled?  tiptoe   Jul-17-08 11:50 PM   #24 
               - When the solution to the problem cost about a buck, for a  kster   Jul-18-08 02:06 AM   #27 
               - I want secret voting, but I do not want our secret vote to be counted in secret  kster   Jul-19-08 12:52 AM   #31 
      - talk about overengineering  foo_bar   Jul-19-08 12:05 PM   #32 
         - Please "corrupt the vote total" on this spreadsheet:  tiptoe   Jul-19-08 08:25 PM   #33 
            - no thanks  foo_bar   Jul-20-08 04:29 AM   #34 
               - "That says it all. Why not take up the challenge? ..." (A Reply from TIA)  tiptoe   Aug-06-08 12:00 AM   #35 
                  - that's "no thanks, I don't open .xls files from shady pseudonyms with a geocities page"  foo_bar   Aug-06-08 07:32 AM   #36 
     

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