Monday, January 14, 2008

Paper Ballot Optical Scan Hand-Re-Counts More Trustable than Hand-Counts alone

Is there going to be a big movement for optical scans for the handicapped accessible such as Automark which have been discussed as an option for those districts and states moving away from the direct recording electronics?

We're tracking in light of the Dennis Kucinich effort for a recount in New Hampshire. A recount, reportedly, of only the paper ballots which were utilized in conjunction with the optical scans.

Continue to wonder whether those New Hamshire districts which reportedly hand-counted the paper ballots actually utilized a central system to count and tabulate the paper ballots?

The difference between the two being in the paper ballot counties with the optical scans, the opti-scan provides the voter at the precinct with a second chance review of the ballot. Meanwhile, in the paper ballot hand count districts, the voter does not have access to a second chance review of the ballot using an optical scan reader.

In the latter, without the second chance review, and with the hand-counts only, any ballots which were over-voted will become voided, by law, that's what is supposed to happen, in those selections. So in the Democratic Primary, if someone voted on the paper ballot for both John Kerry and also selected a write-in candidate, that category would not be counted.

However, the situation is prevented from happening with the optical scan reader. That machine is by law supposed to notify the voter of just such errors. And the voter is prevented from casting a ballot with an over-vote.

Very important to prevent the voter using a paper ballot from over-votes. We'll be back to the hanging chads without the opportunity for second chance voting and review by the voter before the paper ballot is actually cast and recorded. Even if that recording is by hand-count, we cannot be assured there wasn't tampering and somebody else (an election official) decided the voter intent was to make only one selection, not err and make more than permitted.

With the optical scans, a digital image of the ballot is made and recorded. That image would be able to be printed out in event of a recount, and compared to tallies for the paper ballot hand re-counts.

Thus, the totals are more believable in opti-scan and hand-recounts than they would be in only hand-recounts.

(Net the Truth Online)

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