[Baypiggies] Fwd: [OVC-discuss] Fw: Python help needed immediately -- simple Electronic Ballot Printer

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 23:05:43 CET 2008

The code in question is at http://sourceforge.net/projects/evm2003.
OVC aims to rescue US elections from incompetently designed and
written, opaque, proprietary systems claiming security through
obscurity, replacing them with Free Software (GPL extended with a
requirement to track development history). The San Jose Mercury News,
after observing a public demo, called our system "the Holy Grail" of

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Dechert" <alan at openvotingconsortium.org>
To: "Jan Karrman" <jan at it.uu.se>
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 11:05 AM
Subject: Python help needed immediately -- simple Electronic Ballot Printer

> Jan,
> I have a request from the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party to
> provide a system for their straw poll Jan 12.  It's just one contest with
> 5 candidates (plus write-in).
> Clinton
> Obama
> Edwards
> Kucinich
> Richardson
> -----------------------------------------------
> After screening and sign-in, the voter would go to one of three PCs set up
> for voting.  After making the selection, the ballot would be printed on a
> laser printer and would include a 1-d barcode on the edge like our 2004
> demo.  The voter could write-in a name and the write-in name would be
> printed on the ballot (individual write-in names would not be tabulated --
> only that a write-in was made).  The voter would put the ballot in a
> privacy folder (file folder cut to 8x12 inches) and proceed to the ballot
> box.  A pollworker would take the folder from the voter and slide the
> ballot face-down into the ballot box.  About 200-300 voters are expected.
> No reading-impaired voters are anticipated, but it would be nice to have
> one of the machines set up with headphones and the capability of
> accommodating such voters.  English only.
> --------------------
> Once the voting is closed, the ballot box will be opened and the number of
> ballots will be recorded and checked against the sign-in roster.  Any
> discrepancies will be resolved at that time (number should match since
> pollworkers will observe voters from sign-in to casting of the paper
> ballot).
> The PC set up for tabulation will have a barcode scanner attached and the
> video will be projected on the wall for everyone to see -- with one
> exception.  The person scanning the ballots will have his/her back to the
> projected screen image.  Before scanning the barcode the ballot selection
> will be read aloud (i.e., she'll say, "Obama" ... or whichever).  Then the
> barcode will be scanned and the count for the selected candidate will
> increment.  The ballot count will also be displayed and increment at the
> same time.  After all the ballots are scanned, the vote totals are done
> and the number of ballots should equal the number displayed by the ballot
> counter.
> If a barcode is scanned with the incorrect security code, the tabulator
> If a barcode is scanned that has already been scanned, the tabulator
> So, the barcode should encode a total of nine digits.
> xxxxyyyyz  where xxxx is the security code, yyyy is the ballot id (where
> the first digit is the voting machine number and the other three are
> random and unique for the machine).  z represents the candidate selected:
> valid digits include 1-5 and 6 would be for write-in.
> ------------------------------------------
> We want to use a live read-only Ubuntu CD.  No harddrive necessary on the
> voting machine and nothing will be recorded on the machine.  The software
> should have a set up procedure where the operator can enter one digit for
> the machine id and four digits for the "security code."  The operator will
> set up the printer driver and print a test ballot.
> ------------------
> Assume Ubuntu installed on harddrive of tabulation machine.  The final
> count should be printed as well as displayed.  The tabulator will have
> battery backup (laptop most likely).
> ------------------
> We should be able to use your code for the barcode.  Other than that, I
> think we're talking about very few lines of code.  I'd do it myself but I
> haven't used Python, and time is very short.  Optionally, we can
> demonstrate the ballot prerendering idea.  Also, optionally, we can demo
> reading impaired interface.  We plan to film this and there should be good
> publicity possibilities -- maybe including television coverage.
> Can you help?  Please call.
> Alan D.
> 916-772-5360

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Edward Cherlin
Earth Treasury: End Poverty at a Profit
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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