April 18, 2024

Best practices for sorting mail-in ballots 

Part 2 of a 4-part series My previous article explained why it’s a bad practice, used in some election offices, to open absentee ballot envelopes before sorting them by precinct (or ballot-style).  Those jurisdictions rely on the ballot-style barcode, printed on the optical-scan ballot, that tells the Central Count Optical Scan (CCOS) voting machine what’s […]

Sort the mail-in ballot envelopes, or don’t?

How mail-in ballot envelopes are handled by local election officials can make a huge difference in the cost of recounts and can also affect the security of elections against one form of voting fraud. Counties that count thousands or millions of mail-in (or dropbox) ballots can do it two ways: Sort-then-scan:  Sort the ballot envelopes […]

Decoding China’s Ambitious Generative AI Regulations

By Sihao Huang and Justin Curl On April 11th, 2023, China’s top internet regulator proposed new rules for generative AI. The draft builds on previous regulations on deep synthesis technology, which contained detailed provisions on user identity registration, the creation of a database of undesirable inputs, and even the generation of “special objects and scenes” […]

Can ChatGPT—and its successors—go from cool to tool?

Anyone reading Freedom to Tinker has seen examples of ChatGPT doing cool things.  One of my favorites is its amazing answer to this prompt: “write a biblical verse in the style of the King James Bible explaining how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR.”   Based in part on this kind of […]

Unrecoverable Election Screwup in Williamson County TX

In the November 2020 election in Williamson County, Texas, flawed e-pollbook software resulted in voters inadvertently voting for candidates and questions not from their own districts but from others in the same county.  These voters were deprived of the opportunity to vote for candidates they were entitled to vote for—and their votes were wrongly counted […]