Protocol For The
Voter verified audit
By: M. J. Sperry
The following details a radically new proposal to alternately verify the vote in a manner that makes vote fraud virtually impossible to conceal. This paper is aimed primarily at members of the minor politcal parties, as they would have the most incentive to initiate the proposal but may be employed by any registered citizen. If successful it would give those minor parties the one thing they may never have had before, a fair chance at high office. It would also, immediately and peacefully return the United States to the hands of her rightful owners, the people.
The concept was first proposed in 2004 and was submitted for Internet review with a challenge to “break it”. To date, no one has. It is now ready for service. Startup to “operational” should measure less than ten days and with haste, as few as six. Ideally, news of this new development should be passed forward to the leaders of the minor parties, but understand, it is not absolutely necessary, as the proposal only calls for individuals within those parties (or independents) to actually initiate, organize and operate the entire affair, completely independent of their party.
No Taxation Without Representation
You here it every now and then, that "the vote" every four years is a revolution of sorts, because whether a bloody or bloodless revolution, control is retained or surrendered by the hands that govern. Often bitter, those who "lose" bide there time and most importantly, keep their their guns in the closet. They know that a few years in office by their nemesis and the voting "middle" will shift back to their side for the return of happier days. All they have to do is, be patient.
Since the 2000 election, during which we got a good look behind the scenes of vote counting, there have been increasing reports of various forms of vote tampering. Most are the result of the use of the new, computer-based vote machines. All together this is leading to an increased perception that the vote is being rigged.
If the vote is being stolen, then clearly the average person will eventually come to sense they are 'without representation'. Being without representation enraged early Americans to such a degree that it sparked the Revolutionary War whose infamous battle cry summed up their feelings at the time: “No Taxation Without Representation”. Virtually every civil conflict ever started began with the realization by the average person on the street, that somehow they were no longer fairly represented. Nothing seems to enrage people more.
It is of utmost importance that people feel confident in their vote. It is impossible to overstate this. Even a hint that the vote might in some way be rigged is completely unacceptable. The consequences of just the perception that the people aren't in control with their vote, be that perception real or not, are extremely dire.
Can't happen here? Events in 2006 Mexico may serve as an example of what could be expected if the vote began to take on the appearance of a swindle. That appearance caused over a million people a day for several days to fill the streets of Mexico City in protest. It all calls to mind a quote by Thomas Jefferson that I’ll have to paraphrase here. Essentially he said; “This nation can only prevail, as long as there is the appearance of Justice. Justice may not actually exist; but it must appear to exist.”
The Good News
Even before the 2000 election, a small group of dedicated people had been searching for a truly secure system of voting. There have been many proposals, virtually all of them analogous to the building of ever larger bank vaults to prevent bank theft. Recently however, there has been a radical departure from that thinking toward the idea of building an independent "alarm" system to detect any breech of the vote. The Vva, or Voter verified audit is a natural result of that line of reasoning.
Vva – Voter verified audit
Think of the Voter verified audit as a citizen conducted “exit poll,” on steroids. Though exit polls can detect vote irregularities within a narrow margin (typically +/-5%), their sampling methods could very well amount to “hearsay” in a court of law. The Vva has been designed to replace this shortcoming with a far more robust system of verification and authentication, that starts by sampling the vote in front of a witness (the voter) at the point of origin (in the voting booth), rather than sampling on exit.
The integrity of those who conduct exit polls, as well as those who count the vote for the registrar, may be open to question. However, the one person whose integrity in this instance is beyond question, is that of the voter. Why? Because if a voter wanted to later “alter” their own vote, they would have done it in the voting booth, not after they’ve voted. The Vva makes good use of this special characteristic, which is unique only to the voter, by having voters themselves serve as their own witness & verifier in a manner that is virtually identical to a bank’s receipt/statement audit system.
A Brief Overview
The Vva has two essential parts: First, the vote is made with a special and previously filled out ballot/receipt, a copy of which is later used for verification. As the vote is made it is verified and witnessed by the voter them self.
Second, after dropping off the original copy with the group conducting the Vva, the voter would later verify their numbered copy/receipt by comparing it to a copy of the original (called the “statement”) placed on the Internet by the Vva group. If anything changes, the voter will see it in the statement on verification. (Provision is made for those without access to the Internet)
This “end-to-end” verification makes the Vva sample an exact, almost irrefutable replica of the vote and is what gives the Vva its power. As long as a voter votes and checks their vote (provision is made to ensure they do), there can be no error or fraud. Further, Vva cannot “alter” the vote in any way, as the actual vote remains in the constant possession of the Registrar of Voters. Vva is an “image” of that vote used only for verification.
A Vva - The Authenticated Voter verified audit
Notice the word “almost” in that last paragraph. The Vva described in the last few paragraphs is only “verified” by one person, the voter. It was the most basic form of a Vva and is called a Verified Voter verified audit or V Vva.
If a Vva were to ever get to court, expect a full court press on the part of opposition attorneys. They will almost certainly attack even the most innocuous anomaly. Understand, that is their job. If they have nothing else, expect them to blow the least little molehill up to the size of mountains.
One such thing that may be challenged is the voter them self. Did the voter possibly lie? Were they mistaken? Did they forget? Did they change their mind? Could they have altered their own vote to purposely skew and discredit the Vva's results? These and other questions could be used to sway a judge, a judge that may require very little in the way of 'sway'.
The ideal would be another person in the voting booth with the voter, a person who could verify, witness and authenticate the selections of the voter. Note: Another person to “assist” a voter is allowed on request of the voter in California. I assume it is allowed elsewhere.
The authenticator would thus authenticate and corroborate (with the voter) each individual sample, eliminating any question as to the veracity of each, individual verified vote. The authenticator must of course not know the voter and vice versa. If either even thinks they “might” know the other, for obvious reasons the authenticator must step down while another takes their place.
This type of Vva is the A Vva, or Authenticated Voter verified audit. It is important to understand the two types and the significance of each. The A Vva is considered to be irrefutable, because it covers all contingencies with human authenticated verification. A registrars count that disagrees with one would probably have to be voided, and thus the reason for using the A Vva.
There is good reason to believe that certain forces within your state will do all in their power (and then some) to prevent the implementation of the A Vva. If they are successful at excluding another person who would verify a voters vote (with the voters permission), your only recourse may be the Verified Vva. While still far more robust than the systems most registrars field at election time, it is still attackable in a court. Though its vulnerability is relatively narrow as stated above, expect that narrow vulnerability to take on the dimensions of the Lincoln Tunnel once opposition attorneys get a chance.
Either way, you should strive for the more robust A Vva and if you find that impossible for any reason, you can always fall back on the V Vva. Switching between the two could be accomplished in minutes. From an implementation point of view, its configuration is so similar to that of long used and accepted exit polls, that the V Vva should prove very difficult to prevent by anyone.
Note: Vva has been submitted for Internet-review in forums that deal with the search for a better vote system, along with a challenge to “break” the system. Debate has been heated and heavy. The Vva endured a few scuffs and scrapes. However, to date no one has broken it.
The following is the Protocol
Protocol for the
Voter verified audit
Initiation of a Vva begins in each county with one person. It is important that one person be from a minor political party. Indeed, the first three people should be from different minor parties.
A) Contact the headquarters of your party and ask for contact information on other minor parties in your area.
B) Ask your local library to keep your name and contact info in case others come in looking for contacts in the Jefferson Project.
C) Check the website www.howtorescueamerica.com and especially its blog for info on linking up with others in your area.
As soon as possible print out 100-500 copies of the two sided Leaflet “A” using a computer printer, being sure to insert contact info in the file first. By yourself, or with others that you've made contact with, broadly distribute those copies across your community notating the range of addresses you distribute to. Try to equally divide them across the community.
2. Randomly Forming All Into Groups
A) The somewhat complex method for forming into small groups, is only complex for the purpose of making the process random.
B) Obtain precinct locations and a map with precinct boundary lines from your registrar.
C) A large area will have to be acquired. It could be a Hall, a park, or even a parking lot. Each person who wants to become a member of a Vva precinct group would receive a ticket of the two sided, theater variety. They are available from stationery stores. Each ticket would be torn in half with one half going into a box marked with the name of their party. Each person would retain the other half of the ticket. Once everyone has placed their tickets into the appropriate box, a child would be asked to sequentially select a ticket from each box.
Each group would thus be created for a specific precinct. As the numbers are called, at minimum five people (two only from major parties & the rest minor parties) representing those numbers would gather together off to the side, in an area to themselves. If selected people live in the same precinct for which they have been selected, their ticket would be returned to the box and another selected. The idea here is that no one conducting a Vva winds up in their own precinct, as these people will also serve as authenticators and must as little as possible run the risk of learning the identity of the voter for whom they will authenticate.
D) Continue to select precinct groups until they are all filled, or you run out of people of minor parties. It is unlikely you will run out of people from the major parties. If only one minor party is represented cease selection until more people of other minor parties can be recruited, there must be at least two and preferably three or more from minor parties.
3. The Precinct Group
A) From this point forward the precinct group will operate independently. It will be necessary for each in the group to verify the party status of the others, and obtain the names and contact information of each.
B) In Appendix “C” you'll find a Vva Operator Declaration. Read it, understand it and sign it. Then give it to one person selected by the group to retain documents.
C) Print out Leaflet “B” on a computer printer. Have those in your group and other prominent people sign the back. Community celebrity would be very helpful here if time permits i.e. teachers, business people, school coaches, scout leaders, athletes (over 18) etc. Using a scanner, scan the signed back side into a computer, then print out the full 2-sided leaflet. Have them ready to distribute 10 days to 1 week before the election. Print as many copies as the number of homes there are in the precinct in which you'll be conducting the Vva (500-1,000), then distribute them.
3-4 school kids could do this in a few hours. Slip them under or to the side of a door. Do not put them in mailboxes as this violates Postal law. However, I understand they can be dropped through these in-door or in-wall mail-drops.
D) You have a Supreme Court tested right to distribute these leaflets. On June 17th of 2002 the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision in the case of Watchtower Bible & Track Society vs. Village of Stratton, case #00-1737. In an 8-1 decision the high court struck down a Stratton, Ohio ordinance that made it a crime for a "solicitor" or "canvasser" to make uninvited visits. The ruling upheld the right of an individual to advocate religious, POLITICAL or any non-commercial "cause" door to door, without the need to obtain a city permit or even reveal their name. In other words, the Supreme Court of the United States is practically inviting the people to go out and inform their neighbors. The syllabus of the case will be made available on www.howtorescueamerica.com. You may want to carry it with you in case authorities aren't aware of the ruling.
E) The “receipt” itself would consist of an original and two copies of the same type as of carbon copy, tear apart form used by business. After authentication the receipt would be returned to the Vva-station where the original would be folded, then rolled up and placed into a clear plastic 5 gallon jug, the neck of which could be cut off afterward to access the samples.
One of the copies would be given to the authenticator and would later be verified via the Internet, along with all other samples authenticated that day. The other copy would be retained by the voter and would also be later used to verify their receipt via the Internet. The voter would simply call a telephone number the next day which would be answered possibly by people from a public interest group. The voter would provide a combination name and number (password) that was randomly created and written by them onto their sample ballot i.e. “rover947” or “tree218”. The volunteer would find the password from a list and check it as an indicator the voter called. They would then give the voter a website address where they could find their vote which would be contained on one single page (all votes on one and only one page) along with all other sample ballot votes. If the voter doesn't have an Internet connection, the volunteer would simply read to them their vote and notate that they did next to their password on their list.
F) Out of all that must be done to deploy a Vva, probably the one thing that would require the greatest lead-time is the printing of the multi page receipt. "Copy" would be required by the printer, and can be generated people other than those in the Vva, even the printer. However, the final product must be scrutinized by Vva members and only on majority vote can it be printed. There would be four different kinds of receipt that would have to be made:
The first would be for the A Vva and would contain all the choices on the registrars ballot, as well as entries for “qualifiers” such as: gender, marital status, race, approximate age and registered party. All of these qualifiers should be obtained by agreement made with the voter that all required information would be provided before continuing with the Vva. The party of registry should be verified by asking that their voter ID card be produced and placed by the voter into an easily made cardboard holder that would only show the voters party, not their name or address. The sample ballot must also contain a block for the authenticator to initial their name and place their thumb print, a block for the voter to create a combination password/number (3 digit), as well as info on the back instructing the voter how to later verify their vote via the Internet. The serial number should begin with “A” (precinct #)-, which might look like: A398-. Their would be an exact number printed up that would correspond to one ballot per 30 minute period of operation. All should be used by the end of the day.
The second ballot would be used to conduct a V Vva, in the event at an A Vva cannot be conducted. Its configuration would be identical to an A Vva ballot except; A) it would not contain a initial block for an authenticator to initial. B) The serial number should begin with “V” (precinct #)-, which might look like: V171- C) There would as many as 200 ballots printed out and all should be evenly spread throughout the day and used.
The third ballot would be for another type of poll called a V.O.T.E., an acronym for Verifier for Objectively Testing Elections. This is a system that can be used to verify mail-in or absentee ballots. The procedure for this will be provided soon. This sample ballot will be different. It will possess the same qualifiers, provisions for the authenticator and info on the reverse for the voter, but it will have only an open space over which the absentee voter will lay their absentee ballot to be photographed. Also, the serial number would begin with “V.O.T.E.” (precinct #)-, which might look like: VOTE219-. The number printed will depend on the number anticipated to be taken. If you figure on a sample of 5 absentee ballots per precinct, one crew of three to five samplers could sample the equivalent 100 precincts in one 8 hour day doing one sample per minute.
The fourth ballot would be used to document the votes of any one who is denied their right to vote. This would be identical to the sample ballot for the Vva, except the serial number would begin with “UTILITY” (precinct #)- which might look like: UTILITY847-. Also, their would be provision for a voters name, address and pertinent information such as an explanation of why they were denied the vote. The ballot would be authenticated via an initial box the same as an A Vva. The purpose of this ballot; for various reasons there were many denied the vote in the 2004 election, particularly in Ohio.
G) On finding out the voting location in the precinct you will conduct the Vva, you should immediately scout it out. You should have previously asked the registrar the distance you must maintain between the Vva and the entrance to the voting place. Measure that distance off in each direction to get an idea where the best place would be to set up the “Vva-station”, or place where you will conduct the Vva. Choose two possibilities in case you have to move on election day. Then go to the doors of homes adjacent to the location, explain to the homeowner what you will be doing and that you will be set up along the sidewalk election day. Ask if you might lay down a sheet of 4x8 plywood on the lawn and set up a table.
If the homeowner says no, then just set up on the sidewalk. A table and chairs would be good here, but if pressed you can use the hood or interior of an automobile parked on the street to conduct the Vva, or even a clipboard in one hand and the vote bottle in the other. Improvise, and afterwards tell others how you did it for next time.
H) Election Day – Previously go through all the steps necessary to successfully conduct the Vva. Be on site a half hour before the polls open. Follow the guidelines laid out in Jefferson as best you can but understand that in the end your are on your own. If something doesn't work, then try something else that might. Improvise but document it. Before beginning ask all Vva operators if any have a cellphone with them. If so ask them to bring it to their car. No cellphones allowed while Vva ops are working. An opposition attorney might later attack this as a portal for fraud. Use dice to randomly determine the next person who will be asked to participate. Approach them using two or three operators. Explain what it is and the importance of participating. Tell them it will be completely anonymous but they will have to providing certain qualifying information and prove their party affiliation with a voter ID card. If they refuse, try to obtain their party affiliation and either way notate your attempt. If you have distributed the leaflet “B” throughout the precinct most will probably gladly participate. Once the receipt is filled out, accompany the voter in through registration and on to the voting booth. Observe only!! If they need help call over an attendant. After walk out and return to the Vva-station. Initial and date (with time) the receipt, then thumb-print all copies using a black ink pad. Have the voter tear off the original, fold it in two then roll and slip it through the neck of the bottle. The have them tear of your copy. The voter retains their copy. Answer any questions they have on how to check the statement later on to verify their vote. After the polls close adjourn to a suitable, prearranged place where all witness the compilation of the vote.
I) After the election you will have to compile the vote and post it to a website. Creation of a website is far easier than it used to be and their should be many who can help you do this. Contact a local Internet service provider and understand, there is often an enormous variation in price, so shop around. You simply obtain the website from a local Internet provider. Costs should be minimal and there will only be one page on the site, the home page, which will contain all the information you'll convey. That page will use a type of coding called “html” which can be created using OpenOffice Writer which is an open source word processor that in most respects operates identically to MS Word. It and the entire “suite” are provided free by Oracle and can be downloaded from the Internet.at OpenOffice.org. Before the election I will provide a how-to on creating an ultra simple web page using OpenOffice Writer and how to upload the page. Don't worry, it's quite easy. Note: OpenOffice isn't just a suggestion here, it is being specified because its coding is “open source” and thus can be inspected as a defense against it being hacked.
J) Encourage many people to use the data posted to the websites of all Vva's to compile ever larger compilations of data. Each Vva then only has to check each compilation to verify their data is correct. If everyone does this then all compilations should agree. If even one doesn't agree, track down the problem. Once all agree, you can consider the Vva to have been successfully completed.
At This Point Those Conducting A Vva Should Compose Leaflets A & B Based On Local Sentiment and Belief.
Appendix C - Have your attorney compose the Vva Operator Declaration for the purpose of binding Vva Operators to secrecy.
1) This essay may contain entirely new concepts regarding "”Vote Integrity” that may constitute intellectual property of a patentable nature. The author hereby reserves all rights and;
2) All intellectual property/patent rights that may be upheld or otherwise accrue to the author (owner) are hereby relinquished to the Public Domain.
© M. J. Sperry – June 04, 2012 - - All copyrights to this work are released to the Public Domain, but only if reprinted in its entirety including disclaimers. Please distribute widely.