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more on My Baltimore County, Maryland voting went fine.
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2006 11:04:58 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: Ben Combee <ben.combee () gmail com>
Date: November 8, 2006 10:50:21 AM EST
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] My Baltimore County, Maryland voting went fine.

I worked the polls as an election clerk here in Austin, Texas.  We've
been using the e-Slate voting machines for several years now.  While
there is no paper trail, the system seems to be fairly secure.  The
client machines have their own OS and the networking is by a serial
cable daisy chain to a dedicated "Judge Ballot Controller" box.  We
use a two step verification system; the voter checks in with a table
which has a paper copy of the voting roll for the precinct.  People
who voted early are indicated on the roll with an EV by their name and
their ID number replaced by all 9's in the side column.  Usually, one
clerk finds their name and gets them to sign in the roll, while
another copies down the name and registration number into a separate
paper record.  After this, we present the voter with a "QUALIFIED"
card and they then go down a table and present that to the election
judge, who exchanges the card for a newly generated four-digit session
ID that's used to unlock an e-Slate machine.  Choices are made on the
screen using a scroll wheel and select button, and we have at least
one machine that's able to support visually impaired users with an
audio interface.  We also provided magnifier lens and chairs if
requested.  A couple of voters did get confused about the e-voting
system, but we were usually able to answer questions before they cast
their ballots.

The biggest attack here would be counterfeit "QUALIFIED" cards and a
busy room.  We tried to manage this by keeping the number of these
cards in circulation as small as possible and by watching the queue
that formed for the pass codes.  There was no verified paper trail,
but we did keep a close eye on the machines, and if a recount is
needed, they will be able to independently check the record on each
machine with the record stored in the JBC box.  The machines and JBC
are delivered to the central voting authority separately -- the JBC
and its memory card are delivered immediately after the end of
polling, while the machines are secured at the polling location and
picked up by a different team.

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