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Re: New Generation AccuVote - AT Improvements (Printers)

I think that your conclusion that an internal printer be required is a correct conclusion.  Just to add to the justification, in our Gaston County AccuVote TS elections we print a " Zero" and an "Election Totals" Report from each AccuTouch TS unit.  We then download the results from each AccuVote TS to one Disk for loading into the the Poll book.
-----Original Message-----
From: Ian S. Piper <ian@gesn.com>
To: salestalk@gesn.com <salestalk@gesn.com>; support@gesn.com <support@gesn.com>
Date: Friday, April 23, 1999 8:14 AM
Subject: Re: New Generation AccuVote - AT Improvements (Printers)

><< Would it be reasonable for the poll workers to take the one or more
>external printers around to eachAT in turn to print out the results? >>

>I think this would be possible in the precinct.  What I'm wondering about is
>when we are testing hundreds of units and we want to test a line of 20 or 40
>units at the same time, would using external printers be effective.  Maybe
>it's better in fact.  I'm simply encouraging the development team to think
>about the testing phase as well as the election day focus.
External Thermal Printer
Steve Ricke has found a handheld thermal printer that is battery powered (7.2VDC) and prints 52 characters per line and has an Infra-red (IrDa) Interface or a RS-232C modular jack serial interface.  Its dimensions are 6" x 6" x 2-1/2" with the paper holder and weighs less than a pound.  Its the Seiko DPU-3445 and it is already Windows CE and Windows 95/98 compatible.  The retail cost starts at $242 (with battery and is currently available.  It prints at a speed of  2.0 inches per second on a 4 inch wide paper stock.  It can print 8000 lines on a single charge.
Some of its benefits/disadvantages:
  • requires special paper
  • the life expectency of the report isn't as long as an ink report
  • it has the IrDa interface which means ease of use (no cables).  I don't think printing reports on an IR link can be construed as a security concern (as opposed to uploading results)
  • its light and portable
Printing Report Data
Question:    Do we want to print a results report from each machine at the end of the election day or do we want to group the election results on one machine and print one report that reflects how that particular precinct voted (like the AccuVote does).  I know the polling sites I have visited during election nights were always keen on seeing that report.  Besides, they had to post the report as well on the door or window of the polling place. 
Another Question:    How's that going to work with five DRE's each producing a report.  Wouldn't they have to post all five reports on the window?
Accumulating Report Data
Say we want to accumulate the results from each machine onto one machine (i.e., a poll book) and print the results report from that poll book,  wouldn't it make sense to have that same printer equipped machine print the zero totals tapes? Would anybody doubt that the zero totals actually came from each machine?  I'd say that if somebody pointed an IrDa printer at an AccuVote-TS and printed a zero totals tape or a results tape, I'd wonder about the integrity.  It could be perceived that the tapes were generated inside the printer box and not from the AccuVote-TS.  Maybe we ought to stick with the cable attached option just for sake of perception.
AccuVote /AccuVote-TS Common Design Features
Question:    Aren't we trying to design this AccuVote-TS with a common base that can also be used for the Accu-Vote?  If that is the case, then we want an internal printer in every AccuVote because every AccuVote needs to print zero totals.  I guess that kills the idea of an external printer unless for election prep, you want to allow the system to print on an external printer.  But if you do that then you wouldn't be testing the internal printer that would be used on election day.
I have now convinced myself (regardless answers you might give to my questions above) that the above is drivel and rambling because I have also convinced myself that we must design in the space required to house an internal printer even if we don't install it.  You can have the internal printer installed as an option for AccuVote-TS and use an external printer instead, but why bother if you've already got the space available for an internal printer and there really is no cost justification for the external printer over the internal printer.
So, in the words of Rosanna Rosanna Danna, "Never mind".