U.S. Elections: Restore Public Voting With Secret Ballot
1. The problems with electronic voting machines
Electronic voting machines prevent voter verified votes. Pressing a
button does not reveal what the machine actually does, even if it claims
to do something. Printing a continuous "tape" of votes does not
adequately verify 1 voter's choices; timestamping would eliminate a
secret ballot whereas no timestamp would allow a 'clever' machine to
simply redisplay a previous matching vote and print a contradictory one
Electronic voting machines prevent public witness of voting. There are
no witnesses to both the action taken by the voter and the resulting
action taken by the machine to compare the two.
Electronic voting machines prevent public witness of vote storage. There
are no voters watching the status of binary digits in an electronic
voting machine. Numbers can migrate from column to column in stealth.
Electronic voting machines prevent public witness of vote counting.
There are no witnesses to the adding of button presses nor of how the
machine sorted those button presses.
2. The problems with paper ballots
Paper ballots must be printed in multiple languages, including Braille.
Eligible voters may be visually impaired and/or not fluent in English.
Printing all available choices in all languages complicates the ballot
which can lead to confusion and errors by voters.
Paper ballots allow mismarking or mishandling by individual voters,
leading to difficulty determining what the voter intended.
Paper ballots require multiple people counting to ensure an accurate
Paper ballots require more time than electronics to finish a count.
3. The advantages of electronic voting machines
Electronic voting machines provide speedy calculations of numbers. (Note
these calculations are unwitnessed and involve votes the voter did not
verify, the public did not witness being cast, and the public did not
witness in safe storage).
Electronic voting machines provide speedy translations to multiple
Electronic voting machines allow voter adjustment of displays to suit
Electronic voting machines may be reused.
4. The advantages of paper ballots
Paper ballots allow a voter to verify a vote before it is cast.
Paper ballots allow the public to witness a vote being cast without
witnessing the choice made by the voter.
Paper ballots allow the public to witness that ballots are stored
Paper ballots allow the public to witness votes being counted.
5. Proposed solution
A paper ballot may be printed by electronic voting machines as a voter
casts his or her votes.
The voter verified paper ballot then may be placed in a publicly
visible, sealed ballot box.
The ballot box may remain under public watch until polls close.
The ballot box may be unsealed and the ballots counted under public
The tally produced by the electronic voting machine may be quickly
released as the unofficial count.
Upon completion of the public counting of the generated paper ballots,
the official poll results may be released.
6. Advantages of the proposed solution
The electronic voting machine can display the choices available in any
language chosen by the voter, including Braille, which the election
officials have determined need to be available, at any size needed by
The electronic voting machine can print the resulting ballot for the
voter in all languages that the machine has been programmed to use, by
the election officials, so that (a) the voter can verify the printed
ballot in his or her own language, and (b) no ballot can be used to
determine which language the voter used, thereby protecting the secrecy
of the ballot.
Each voter is able to immediately verify that his or her choices were
correctly printed by the electronic voting machine, before placing the
ballot into a sealed but publicly displayed ballot box.
The public witnesses one ballot per voter being placed into the ballot
The public witnesses the safe storage of the official ballots while the
election takes place.
The tally by the electronic voting machine becomes available to the
The public counting of the official, paper ballots completes a public
witness of the voting process, confirms or denies the accuracy and
precision of the electronic voting machine to enable corrective measures
before its next use, and reduces or eliminates the need for recounts and
controversy of the count.