Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Vote: Box, Ballot, Poll, Voter

The Voter, The Poll, The Ballot, The Box, and The Vote

In the past few years much has been written and discussed concerning how to manage voting. It is the case that technology and our trust in technology has clouded our view of things. I hope this post will help clear some of the clouds. My premis is that if agree on basic concepts then the way forward is very clear. Here are the basic concepts.

The Voter - This is a person who has qualified to vote by registering to vote. How one qualifies to register and the registration process itself are beyond the scope of this post. Registering to vote and voting are actions that the voter must take voluntrialy. In a correct Democracy voting is not a manditory thing but completely at the descression of the person.

The Poll - This is the physical location that the voter must travel to in order to a vote. This physical location is located near the residence of the voter. "Absentee" and "Early Voting" voting are beyond the scope of this post.

The Ballot - This is a physical object that can be read by a human that contains choices the voter makes while in the Poll. This object can be created out of paper. This object must be individual to each voter. This means it can not be a location on a roll of paper. The ballots are the official record of the vote, and persist after the vote has completed and are held in such a fashion that they can be audited to verify the vote totals.

The Box - This is the location that the Voter must place his Ballot. Once inside the box the ballot is said to be casts and the voting process by the voter is over.

The Vote - This is the physical act of the voter, while he is in the poll, placing his ballot into the box.

How the ballots are created, and counted can be a subject of technological innovation