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Around the States

 

"Just Trust Us" Is No Longer Enough PDF  | Print |  Email
Oregon
By Bill Bradbury, Oregon Secretary of State   
July 10, 2006

"We believe that our elections are accurate, but we need hard evidence to show the public."

 

This speech was delivered to the Oregon Association of Counties on November 17, 2005. It is reposted here with permission of the author.

 

We are now six years past the presidential election that brought elections administration to the forefront of the political agenda. We are now four years into implementation of the single largest federal election reform effort in history, known, of course, as the Help America Vote Act. And the most important deadlines of that federal law loom just around the corner.

 

I'm proud to say that Oregon is on time and on budget to meet the federal deadlines for centralized voter registration and ensuring that voters with disabilities can vote privately and independently. These are both huge projects and I encourage you, if you haven't done so already, to take a look at what your county is doing to comply with federal law.

 

Our centralized voter registration system is live and functioning in 35 of the 36 counties (and in case you're wondering, Marion County is number 36). With this new centralized system, our voter rolls are cleaner, more accurate, easier to track and more accessible to the public. The insight and expertise of county clerks has been instrumental in building the best new centralized voter registration system for our state, and I'm thrilled to see all of our hard work coming to fruition.

 

It has NOT been easy. Congress had no idea what a difficult thing they were imposing when they wrote a law requiring each state to build a new voter registration system, combine all the local voter data into one system, deliver it to every county, make it secure and try to keep future maintenance costs at tolerable levels.

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California: Select Committee On Election Integrity To Investigate June Primary Elections PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By California State Senator Debra Bowen Press Release   
July 07, 2006

Problems Cited In San Diego, Kern, and San Jaoquin Counties 

 

"During the June primary, we had polling places that didn't open until several hours after they were supposed to, voting machines that didn't work at all, and thousands of voters who were told to 'come back later' once the problems had been sorted out. Ensuring the integrity of our electoral process isn't solely about making sure electronic voting machines are secure and accurately recording people's votes. It also involves taking care of some basic, fundamental issues that many people just take for granted. These are the types of fundamental, logistical problems we need to begin addressing now to ensure they don't repeat themselves in November."

That's the focus Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee, will bring to the newly-formed Senate Select Committee on the Integrity of Elections that she will chair. The three-member select committee - which includes Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) and Senator Joe Dunn (D-Garden Grove) - intends to hold hearings over the next two months to look at problems that arose during the June 2006 primary election and what can be done to prevent them from recurring in November.

"Clearly, the security issues involving electronic voting machines have garnered the bulk of the attention and rightly so, but there are logistical issues we need to deal with as well," continued Bowen. "In San Diego, electronic voting machines with well-known security holes in them were sent home with poll workers days and weeks before the
election. Why? Because the county has been sending paper ballots and other election equipment home with workers for years and it saw no reason to change that practice. Elections are different today than they were in the 1950s or even the 1990s, meaning many of the historical practices that elections officials have relied on may need to change to reflect that new reality."

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California: Voter Files For Manual Recount Of Congressional Special Election PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
July 07, 2006

50th District Voter Files Request On Behalf of Winning Candidate Brian Bilbray

 

A registered voter living in the 50th Congressional District has filed a formal request for a hand recount of the special election to filll the seat vacated by former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Official results from the special election showed Republican Brian Bilbray won the runoff contest by more than 5 percentage points over Democrat Francine Busby. Bilbray took the oath of office on June 13 and immediately began serving as the new congressman representing the 50th District.

In a letter to San Diego Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas, San Diego resident Barbara Gail Jacobson said she was making the request because, "there were widespread and profound breaches of security allowed in the administration of this election." She said that because Haas had permitted some of the voting machines to be taken home by poll workers in the days leading up to the election, "both state and federal certification of the machines were invalidated and rendered null."

 

According to California state law, voter's making a request for a recount must declare a candidate on whose behalf the request is being filed. Jacobsen named winning candidate Brian Billbray.

Haas has defended the practice of sleepovers, contending that registrars in many California counties allow poll precinct captains to take the machines home so they will be able to set up the polling stations early on the day of the election. However, recent revelations concerning the extreme vulnerability of the Diebold equipment used in San Diego County have alarmed concerned citizens across the country, who have focused attention on the security risk posed by such “sleepovers”. The California Secretary of State's office has reported that no state law exists prohibiting poll inspectors from taking the machines home.

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Iowa: Polk County Recorder Challenges Primary Election Results PDF  | Print |  Email
Iowa
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
July 06, 2006
According to an article in The Des Moines Register, Polk County, Iowa Recorder Tim Brien (pictured at right) has filed the necessary paperwork to organize a manual recount of his June 6 primary election loss, the county auditor's office said this week.

Brien, a five-term incumbent who has worked in the recorder's office since 1974, called for a review of the election results last week based on a ballot-counting malfunction in Pottawattamie County that prematurely named nine losing candidates as winners. County officials there acknowledged last week that they had failed to properly test their new machines prior to Election Day.

Brien admits that he has no evidence that the same happened in Polk County, where an official count by Auditor Michael Mauro showed Brien losing by a wide margin to political newcomer Julie Haggerty, 13,926 votes to 10,256. Brien’s actions seem to be motivated by a desire to confirm the accuracy of the electronic tallying machines – a noble, and rare motivation. Brien said that he remains uncomfortable with both counties' voting technology, which scans paper ballots and tabulates results electronically.

The challenge has political significance because Mauro is a candidate for Secretary of State, the state’s chief election administrator. An earlier Des Moines Register article suggested that Brien was effectively challenging Mauro’s competence as an election administrator, but in fact, Brien is challenging the accuracy of the machines, not the election officials.
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California Voters File for Injunction to Block Use of Diebold DREs in November Elections PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By VoterAction   
July 03, 2006

Secretary of State failed to lawfully certify touch-screen machines prone to hacking and errors

A non-partisan and diverse group of California voters have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to block the use of Diebold Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) TSx touch-screen computerized voting systems in the state’s November 2006 elections. The motion is based on well-documented security and reliability problems and the impossibility of recounts with this system, and Secretary of State Bruce McPherson’s failure to follow certification procedures as required by California election code. Plaintiffs are seeking to have the case returned from Federal to State Superior Court in San Francisco, where it was originally filed, and in which it can be considered more expeditiously. The motion for preliminary injunction is filed conditionally to prevent additional delay in the event that the federal court refuses to return the case to state court, and is the most recent step in the California voters’ case. After the complaint was filed on March 21, the plaintiffs dismissed their claims against eight California counties after those county election officials agreed not to use the TSx and to submit sworn affidavits confirming their intent.

The California voters’ preliminary injunction motion is supported by sworn testimony from volunteer poll workers regarding serious physical security breaches, including assigned “sleepovers”, or home storage of electronic voting machines and missing security seals over memory card portals. Two of the nation’s leading electronic voting security and standards experts have provided sworn declarations on security and accuracy risks inherent in Diebold DRE technology.

 

"The evidence submitted in support of our motion demonstrates that use of Diebold DRE computerized voting systems in the upcoming election is fraught with peril," said John Eichhorst, partner in the law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin in San Francisco, and Co-counsel for the California voter plaintiffs. "The Secretary of State has put Californians' vote and county Registrars of Voters at risk by certifying electronic voting technology that his own panel of experts found to be prone to undetectable hacking, and that is illegal in our state for this reason. Recent experience has shown that stop-gap security conditions imposed by the Secretary of State do not solve the problems, and use of this system in the upcoming election presents a grave danger of voter disenfranchisement and election result manipulation."

 

"The election clock is ticking," said Lowell Finley, Co-counsel, and Co-director of Voter Action, a non-profit, non-partisan group advocating election integrity. "The California Attorney General, representing the Secretary of State, should respond promptly so that the case can be heard, and local elections officials will know what to expect before the November elections."

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Yolo County CA Registrar Speaks Out On Voting Machine "Sleepovers" PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By Brad Friedman, The Brad Blog   
July 03, 2006

'If E-Voting Systems can't be secured, perhaps they ought not be used at all. Period.'

 

Registrar Freddie Oakley Speaks Out on the Busby/Bilbray Controversy and the Crisis Concerning Deployment of Hackable Electronic Voting Systems

 

This article appeared on The Brad Blog. It is reposted here with permission of the author.

 

In an email discussion yesterday among a group of Election Integrity advocates, in reply to the horrendous San Diego Union-Tribune coverage of the Busby/Bilbray issue, Yolo County, CA Registrar of Voters Freddie Oakley posted a crystal clear statement on the concerns of sending voting machines home with poll workers prior to elections.

 

"As an election official, I understand the practical issues involved here perfectly. I am strongly of the opinion that it is exactly this kind of practical issue that should give election officials serious reservations about deploying electronic voting machines," Oakley wrote.

 

"If, as a practical matter, [the electronic voting machines deployed prior to an election] can't be secured, then perhaps they ought not be used at all. Period. Until the impediment can be removed," her email statement read.

 

Her comment was in direct reply to a discussion about how voting machines, in the post-Hursti Hack age, might be deployed now that sending them home unsecured for "overnights" with poll workers is no longer a secure option. That hack, in Leon County, Florida in December 2005 of a Diebold optical scan voting system, has set off a chain reaction revealing massive vulnerabilities in these systems, forcing both federal and state authorities to issue extraordinary security requirements for the machines in just the last few months. Those requirements were subsequently all but ignored in the June 6th Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election — the first federal election in the nation to be administered since the additional mitigation requirements were put in place.

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Colorado: Key Government Document Altered PDF  | Print |  Email
Colorado
By Al Kolwicz, CAMBER   
July 03, 2006

This article appeared on coloradovoter on July 1, 2006. It is reposted here with permission of the author.

 

Somebody altered an official government document, and the Secretary of State is being very quiet about it.

The altered document is the Certificate of Approval for Voting System Use for the Hart InterCivic voting system. A copy resides on the Secretary of State website, and it authorizes Colorado counties to use the Hart voting system.

The certificate was issued on February 28, 2006 after what the state describes as extensive testing of the Hart voting system.

Because of concerns regarding secret ballots, the certificate was issued with a restriction. The use of serial numbers on paper ballots is forbidden.

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In An Age Of Computerized Voting, Is It Possible To Maintain Voting Integrity? PDF  | Print |  Email
Iowa
By Sean Flaherty, Vice President, Iowans for Voting Integrity   
July 03, 2006

This Guest Editorial was published in The Iowa City Press-Citizen. It is reposted with permission of the author.

 

The June 6 primary election has come and gone, but it should not be forgotten. A problem that has marred elections across the United States came to Pottawattamie County and offered our state an unforgettable lesson in the need for verifiable and auditable elections.

 

On election night, as county election workers watched absentee ballots tabulate, they noticed odd results in the race for Pottawattamie County recorder. John Sciortino, the popular incumbent of 23 years, was losing to a 19-year-old college student named Oscar Duran. Auditor Marilyn Jo Drake quickly suspected something amiss, and ordered a manual check of the paper ballots. Her suspicion proved correct: The ballot scanners had not been programmed to recognize that in different precincts the paper ballots rotated the candidates' positions. Ballot rotation is a measure commonly used to reduce the chance of voter fraud.

 

The faulty programming affected every race on the ballot, and the county ordered a full hand recount of all races. Sciortino won his race for the renomination of his party, and a county board race also was reversed. The Pottawattamie election snafu was covered extensively in Council Bluffs' newspaper, The Daily Nonpareil.

Drake should be commended for her alertness and conscientiousness in ordering a manual check and asking the county board for a full recount. If she had, the wrong candidates would have taken office.

 

Was the Pottawattamie error an isolated incident? Hardly. The ballot tabulators were programmed for this election under contract by the same company that sold the county the equipment. This company, Omaha-based Election Systems and Software, has a track record of ballot programming errors across the United States. In 2006 alone, ES&S has made major programming mistakes in Texas, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Arkansas.

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Heartbreak in Pennsylvania’s Heartland PDF  | Print |  Email
Pennsylvania
By Marybeth Kuznik, VotePA   
June 27, 2006
Centre County Joins The Masses on Paperless iVotronic Touchscreens

Centre County represents the heart of Pennsylvania in more ways than one.

A physical and cultural crossroads, and a meeting point, Centre County is something of a microcosm of the Keystone State in general. Nestled between mountain ridges and located at the geographical center of Pennsylvania, Centre is home to the main campus of the Pennsylvania State University along with much new industry and development. But in contrast, the county also contains thousands of acres of fertile farmland and traditional ways from the past. Centre County citizens and voters encompass the youthful energy of the Penn State students, progressive ideals of many faculty members, and traditional conservative views of rural residents. The diversity, cultural mix, and climate of knowledge and learning found in Centre County reflects the legacy and true spirit of William Penn’s ‘great experiment.’

Perhaps more than any other county in the state, Centre initially seemed ideally poised to make the wise choice of a paper-based, verifiable optical scan system after its citizens became involved in the process of voting machine selection. But sadly, after months of advocacy and educational work by active, concerned voters and poll workers, the Centre County Election Board voted to buy paperless iVotronic touchscreens last week in a 2-1 party-line vote. Centre County will now ‘join the masses’ of counties nationwide that trust their democracy and their sacred right to vote to the accuracy of the privately-held ES&S Corporation’s proprietary counting software.
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New York: Last in HAVA Compliance or First in Election Integrity? PDF  | Print |  Email
New York
By Howard Stanislevic, VoteTrustUSA E-Voter Education Project   
June 27, 2006
You've read about it in the press, seen it on the Internet, perhaps even blogged about it yourself, but what's really behind New York's reported tardiness in complying with the Help America Vote Act? Perhaps it's the State's preoccupation with election integrity.

The history of New York's purported non-compliance with Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is a long one. Much has been made of HAVA's lack of requirements for voter-verified paper audit records (VVPARs) or paper ballots that can be used to allow independent verification of e-voting system tallies produced by Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) and Optical Scan (OS) systems (paper ballots provide this capability inherently of course). But bills in the New York State legislature from both sides of the aisle have required VVPARs with random audits since at least 2004. New Yorkers may be stubborn but they're not stupid.

It would be patently absurd to replace a transparent, statewide, non-proprietary, low-tech mechanical lever voting system that even prevents write-in overvotes and can only be corrupted the old fashioned way -- one machine at a time -- with opaque, proprietary, computerized e-voting systems, programmed en masse by as few as a single insider, with no means of independent verification whatsoever. And contrary to popular belief the potential for programming error or malfeasance applies equally to DRE and Optical Scan technologies. Fortunately, the independent verification issue was resolved here years ago; the legislature declared, "There shall be paper." So too was the issue of source code escrow, which recently prompted at least one major e-voting vendor (Diebold Election Systems) not to compete in the state of North Carolina. As in the Tarheel State, the escrow of vendors' proprietary software has been a requirement in New York's legislation for years.

New York law also requires the testing of every e-voting machine or system in the state approved after 1986 with at least 800 votes per year. While some may consider this excessive it's not burdensome to do with optical scanners. However, it should be noted that a typical ballot can have literally trillions of valid vote combinations, all of which cannot be tested. This is one reason why New York law also provides for party representatives and others to audit the ballot definition programming generated by election management systems. The significance of this statute is something that even some in the election integrity community do not yet fully appreciate.

In numerous states we have seen incidents of miscounted races, the outcomes of which were reversed by errors or misconduct affecting ballot programming (also known as election configuration, ballot definition files and election definition). Clearly New York and all other states need to be able to audit this data before it's loaded onto their voting systems for each election and vendors must be required to provide a means for doing so on every machine or scanner to ensure its correctness. New York provides for this, including a formal definition of the Election Configuration, in its latest Voting System Standards approved unanimously by the State Board of Elections last April. After all, verifying the ballot definition can easily be done by any poll worker with a lever machine simply by inspecting the ballot face. Unlike e-voting systems, with lever machines what you see is what you get.
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California: Ultimate Insult! PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By Art Cassel   
June 23, 2006

Many Riverside County California voters went to the polls on primary election day, June 6, with the plan that they would use their right to request paper ballots instead of voting on the Sequoia Edge Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, touch-screen) voting machines.

 

Those voters will probably be surprised to learn that the county Registrar of Voters thumbed her nose at them. The paper/absentee ballots they were given, Xerox copies of the ballot on 8 1/2×11 paper, were then punched into the DRE's by election workers later. The same touch-screen systems the voters had wanted to avoid by requesting a paper ballot in the first place. This was all done without their knowledge, without their permission, and without their ability to verify that their ballots were voted as they had voted them.

 

Moreover, the voters were forced to attach their names and addresses to the ballots! So much for private voting in Riverside! Riverside County voter Art Cassel has written this description of the process used at the polls in the county.

 

There is a growing trend in this country towards voting by absentee ballot.  Year after year, the percentage of the electorate choosing to vote by this method increases.  In the June 6th, 2006 primary election in Riverside County, California, the birthplace of electronic voting, 49% of those voting used an absentee ballot to exercise that right.

There is little question that a large percentage of these voters have selected to do so due to concern about the accuracy of electronic voting.  No election passes without the horror stories of machine failures from touchscreen anomalies to machines recording more votes than registered voters using them.  Controversy concerning ownership of the companies manufacturing electronic voting machines, as well as persistent reports of unapproved software being used in them adds fuel to the fire.

In addition to an absentee ballot, there is another alternative for those not trusting the touchscreens.  Despite being poorly publicized, in Riverside County paper ballots were available to those visiting their polling place.  While most questioning the accuracy and accountability of the electronic voting machines probably chose to vote absentee, over 150 registered voters in Riverside County asked for, and received a paper ballot.

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Georgians to File Lawsuit Asserting E-Voting Rights Violations PDF  | Print |  Email
Georgia
By VoterGA Press Release   
June 23, 2006
A coalition of Georgia voters announced yesterday that it will file a lawsuit on behalf of all nine million current and future Georgia voters to seek relief from Georgia's existing implementation of electronic voting. Representatives of VoterGA, explained that current statewide voting cannot be verified, audited or recounted. They contend that because no direct physical evidence of voter intent is ever captured by the machines, fraud and errors are now virtually undetectable statewide.

Prior to 2002, about 82% of Georgians used optical scan and punch card equipment to cast ballots that could be verified, audited and recounted. The 2002 statewide E-voting implementation reduced that percentage from 82% to
zero. Two years later, Free Congress Foundation rated Georgia as having the worst voting systems and procedures in America. As rationale for the rating, VoterGA founder, Garland Favorito, posed the question: "If voters cannot see
their own ballot selections, cannot physically verify that their ballot was ever cast and cannot participate in counting the ballots, how could they be further disenfranchised?"

Mark Sawyer, who is also a member of Defenders of Democracy, explained why Georgia activists decided that a lawsuit was necessary: "We have been fighting to preserve basic audit capabilities since the voting machines were
being evaluated and we've met every kind of resistance imaginable".

VoterGA retained Walker Chandler to represent what they believe are the interests of all Georgians. Chandler is a former Libertarian Attorney General candidate who has already won a U.S. Supreme Court decision against
the state for unreasonable search and seizure violations of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Election Meltdown Gets Political in Arkansas PDF  | Print |  Email
Arkansas
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
June 22, 2006

Plenty of Finger Pointing After Primary Meltdowns

 

In the wake of problem-plagued primaries and run-offs in Arkansas, election administration has become a hot topic in "The Natural State". Secretary of State Charlie Daniels (pictured at right) has, for the most part, placed the blame squarely on the vendor, Election Systems and Software (ES&S), that failed miserably in upholding their $15 million statewide contract.

An Arkansas editorial quoted Daniels, last weekend, “ES&S let Arkansas down,” Daniels told reporters. “They let our election officials down, and they let me down. I am disappointed and frustrated over their poor performance in this state and what I considered to be their shockingly cavalier attitude toward managing this project for the first five months of the implementation.”

Daniels has named a bipartisan ad hoc committee to review the findings of a study focusing on ES&S. The study is being prepared by Glenn Newkirk of InfoSentry. Newkirk had been involved in the state’s RFP and contract negotiations and has a history of advocacy for paperless electronic voting machines and whitewashing reports in various states. His report on Maryland’s voting systems, written specifically to support the position of State Election Director Linda Lamone has been criticized by computer scientists and election integrity activists. Its difficult to imagine anything different from his study of Arkansas’ election administration.

 

And Daniels is quick to dismiss anyone who questions the reliability of electronic voting machines, no matter what he has experienced in his state or the credentials of those involved. When Stanford computer scientist David Dill's criticism of Glenn Newkirk's Maryland Report was brought to his attention at a press conference recently, Daniels casually dismissed Dill as a "conspiracy theorist". Clearly, Daniels is more concerned about protecting his decision to spend millions of taxpayers dollars on touchscreen machines than he is in a careful examination of the facts.

The Arkansas Legislature has also authorized their own study of the election problems and Governor Mike Huckabee has said that he would call a special session of the legislature if changes to the state’s election laws are deemed necessary before the General Election in November.

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Florida Audit Reveals Serious Problems With State's Election Administration PDF  | Print |  Email
Florida
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
June 21, 2006

Activists Welcome Audit's Finding But Contend That It Only Scratches the Surface 

 

Download The Auditor General's Report 

 

Florida’s Auditor General William Monroe has released an operational audit that focused on the Department of State’s administration of the Federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) during the period July 1, 2004, through February 28, 2006, and selected actions taken through May 23, 2006. Through June 30, 2005, the Department has been awarded $160 million in HAVA funding on behalf of Florida. The audit was highly critical of Secretary of State Sue Cobb (pictured at right) and the State Division of Elections, listing a dozen findings of problems with the state’s efforts to comply with the Help America Vote Act.

According to the aduit, the Department does not have a procedure in place to evidence for the public record that voting systems being certified had met the requirements of Florida law and does not prohibit the Secretary of State and any examiners from having a financial interest in the examination of and approval of voting equipment.
Further, the audit reveals that the Department does not maintain a current, reliable control listing of voting systems certified and in use by the counties, nor does it have a procedure in place to ensure that voting system information was on file with the Department.

The audit also found that the state incorrectly calculated the required maintenance costs that were included in the State of Florida HAVA Plan and also did not maintain the required level of expenditures for the 2004-05 fiscal year and salary certifications required for employees who worked solely on the HAVA Program were not maintained. The state has not instituted sufficient procedures to ensure that voter education programs are in compliance with Florida law and the state has not always followed Federal requirements with regards to awards to other State agencies.

In a written response to the audit, Secretary of State Sue Cobb tried to excuse her Department saying, "The department has been focused on meeting the January 2006 deadline imposed on all 50 states. This effort has allowed little opportunity for the department’s staff to become familiar with all the nuances of a large federal grant program."

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Election Reform Victory in Arizona PDF  | Print |  Email
Arizona
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
June 21, 2006

Bill Provides For Voter Verified Paper Records, Mandatory Audits, Source Code Review

 

A bill to require voter verified paper records, mandatory random audits, and other important election reform measures is headed to the desk of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. The bill, SB 1557, passed the Arizona House unanimously and the Senate 25-3. The Senate version. The House effort was led by Rep. Ted Downing (D-28, pictured at right), while the Senate version of the bill was introduced by Sen. Karen Johnson (R-18, pictured at left).

Sen. Johnson said in the AZ Star that the current tallying process — done strictly by computers — isn't enough to ensure accuracy. "We cannot trust computers; that's the main purpose of this," Johnson said. "You hope everything will be great, but we've already had problems."

The passage of this landmark legislation, described by Maricopa County Election director Karen Osborn as “one of the most significant election reforms bills in decades”, is the culmination of years of efforts from activists and concerned legislators. AZ Audit, Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections, and Arizona Citizens for Election Reform have all focused their efforts on establishing basic election safeguards in the state.

 

The struggle has often been contentious, most recently in the controversial decision of Pima County to purchase Diebold touchscreen voting machines. Concern about the current unauditable system in Arizona stems from the results of a 2004 Republican legislative primary race in the Phoenix area. One candidate's four-vote victory there triggered an automatic recount, giving a 13-vote victory to another candidate and uncovering nearly 500 additional votes.

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