Tricolor scheme

There is a cute (admittedly disgustingly cute) way to check the validity of approval ballots in Rivest's 3ballot secure voting scheme. I'm the inventor and I call it "tricolor."

The ballots have punch-outs where voters punch a hole. (Hanging chads? Sue me.)

We have 3 colors of translucent sheets.

The point I'm aiming for, is, if you punched exactly 1 or 2 holes (i.e. exactly the "valid ways to vote" in Rivest's 3ballot scheme for making approval voting secure) then stack the 3 ballots on top of each other, then

  1. Not 3 holes: since obvious no hole goes all the way through all 3 layers. (Holes could be detected by sticking rods through, electrical contact, etc.)
  2. Not 0 holes since then would be too dark to see through (each translucent blocks one primary color, all three block all)
  3. 1 or 2 holes (valid): permits light to shine through – perfect.

Making sheets chiral shape prevents misorienting before stacking. The point is, this tricolor invention makes the check so trivial no machine is needed (or a trivial machine). [We admit there are useability issues for colorblind voters.]

Now (time to get even cleverer), about the copy: Remember, you've got 3 ballots, red-, blue-, and green-blocking. You want to copy exactly one, where you (the voter) choose which. Let's say you chose RED. Stack on top of each other, and shine a monochromatic RED light through onto photosensitive copying stuff which senses light but is colorblind. Result: the red-blocking ballot gets copied. Other ballots ignored. Machine does not know which color you chose (if its sensors really are colorblind, that is). It sucks all 3 of your ballots in as it copies and checks, and spits out the copy. (If check says no good, then all 3 ballots visibly destroyed in front of you and no copy comes.)

Return to main page