Possible use of Python for a voting machine demo project -- your feedback requested

Andrew Dalke adalke at mindspring.com
Mon Jul 21 19:33:08 CEST 2003


Alan Dechert:
> > "greyed" in normal UI parlance means the option is no longer selected.
> > What happens if someone pressed the wrong button?  How is the correct
> > selection made?
> >
> Point (or click on) again to de-select.

Agreeing with Ian Bicking in his followup, there's no need to grey out the
unselected fields, just emphasize the selected one.

> > No apostrophe?  What if I want to vote for "O'Reilly"
> >
> As a matter of fact, we won't let you vote for O'Reilly.

He-he, I was thinking of O'Reilly as the book publisher, forgetting there's
another one more closely involved with politics.

I brought it up because I remember on our old Plato system (last 1980s),
the Plato admin for the department was a "O'Something" and rewrote
some code which didn't allow him to use an apostrophe for his name.

>  Okay we'll have an apostrophe available.  Anything else?

I don't think there's need for accents, umlauts, tildes, and other such
marks,
even if it does mean leaving it out is technically a misspelling.

> Mercuri (Mercuri-Neumann, more accurately), suggests the paper ballot be
> inaccessible to the voter -- viewable behind glass.  This involves some
> expensive and proprietary hardware since paper handling must also deal
with
> rejected printouts.

Huh.  Well, like I said, I know just enough to be dangerous.  I like your
method instead.

> My scheme is cheaper and lower tech.  It allows the voter to handle the
> ballot.  This involves a minor security issue (then again, since when have
> we decided we can't trust voters to touch their ballots?).

Agreed.  We're trusting people to make a vote, so the little bit of extra
trust needed to handle a ballot seems appropriate.

> It is a real life problem.  We've given a lot of thought to this issue.
The
> printout will be designed so that counterfeits can be detected easily.

Cool!  I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy about your work now. :)

> > Isn't that overkill?  I seem to recall that already there are provisions
> > for people with special needs to have someone in the booth to help.
> >
> I don't think it's overkill.  One of the current [lame] arguments against
a
> "voter-verified paper trail" is that "Mandating Voter-Verified Paper
Trails
> Could Deny Voters With Disabilities the Right to Cast a Secret Ballot."

Indeed, and you're right.  Objection withdrawn.

> > Python would do this just fine.  There are the various GUI projects, but
> > this sounds like a good place for pygame.
> >
> Okay, thanks for your input.

BTW, another possibility for a demo is to use Flash.  I've never used
it, but I hear it has some sort of authoring environment and it's pretty
popular and documentation about it is widely available.  It might be
best to start with this for a demo.

                    Andrew
                    dalke at dalkescientific.com






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