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Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting Appendixes
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Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting A Glossary Algorithm —a precise set of steps that can be used to solve some problem. Audit —in an election context, an activity that seeks to validate and verify as many aspects of the election cycle as possible without violating state privacy laws. An audit may involve a recount of the votes, but this is only one of the actions that an audit may entail. Ballot definition —the process through which a physical ballot form is created, including the selection of the contests in question and how they appear on the form. Ballot provisioning —the process of providing a voter with the correct ballot form on which to vote. Certification —a process undertaken by states to certify that a given voting system is acceptable for use. In principle, only certified systems may be used in an election, although the reality is sometimes at variance with this requirement. Overvoting —an indication on a cast ballot that more than one choice has been made in a single-choice contest. Overvotes are invalid votes. Provisional vote —a ballot cast by a voter whose credentials for voting in a particular precinct cannot be verified on Election Day. If his or her credentials are subsequently verified after Election Day, the ballot is eligible to be counted. Qualification —a process undertaken under the authority of the federal Election Assistance Commission to “qualify” voting systems. An independent testing authority, designated by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), evaluates a voting system to see
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Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting if it meets or exceeds the Federal Elections Commission’s 2002 Voting Systems Standards. Residual vote —the sum of overvotes and undervotes for a given election contest. Source code —a computer program rendered in human-readable form that also clearly lays out the structure of the program. Undervoting —a lack of indication on a cast ballot about the voter’s choice for a given contest. Undervotes are legal, because there is no requirement that a voter must vote on every contest, but may or may not reflect the actual intention of the voter in casting (or not casting) a vote for the contest in question. Voter-verified paper audit trail —a physical paper record of voter ballots as voters have cast them on an electronic voting system that the voter may verify corresponds to his or her intent in casting those votes. Voting station —the physical unit on which a voter casts a vote. Any given electronic voting system may involve hundreds of identical voting stations located in many different precincts.
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