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Around the States

 

New York: State Senator Krueger Testifies in Favor of Optical Scan PDF  | Print |  Email
New York
By Liz Krueger, New York State Senator (D-26th)   
September 27, 2005
TESTIMONY OF STATE SENATOR LIZ KRUEGER BEFORE THE CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS OVERSIGHT REGARDING THE SEPTEMBER 13TH  PRIMARY ELECTION AND THE CURRENT STATUS OF HAVA COMPLIANCE

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Good morning.  My name is Liz Krueger, and I represent the 26th Senatorial District, which includes Midtown and the East Side of Manhattan.  I am here this morning to address New York City’s compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which requires that every state modernize its voting systems.  New Yorkers have a right to the most reliable, secure, and auditable voting system currently available.  There are presently two types of voting machines being considered to replace our aging lever machines.  The first one is a “Direct Recording Electronic” voting system, also known as a DRE.  DRE’s typically resemble PCs with touch-screen capability and they pose a very serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process.  The second type of voting machine available is called a Paper Ballot Optical Scanner system, also known as PBOS.  Optical scanners use a paper ballot marking system, which is also compatible with a highly sophisticated ballot-marking machine, developed for use by persons with disabilities.
Read more...
VVPR Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania PDF  | Print |  Email
Pennsylvania
By Warren Stewart, Director of Legislative Issues and Policy, VoteTrustUSA   
September 27, 2005
Rep. Dan Frankel Introduces HB 2000

A bill that would require a voter verified paper record of every vote and a routine random manual auidt of 5% of the state's precincts has been introduced into the Pennsylvania Assembly today by Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) and 38 initial bi-partisan co-sponsors.

In the 2004 General Election, Pennsylvania witnessed an alarming number of incidents of voting machine malfunctions and irregular vote totals. Machines malfunctioned and votes were lost in many Pennsylvania counties. And Pennsylvania was not alone, with hundreds of incidents in precincts and counties across the nation.
Read more...
California: Auditing Electronic Voting Systems PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By Jody Holder, Manteca CA   
September 23, 2005
I am perplexed by the current actions of the California Secretary of State in opposing SB370, which codifies what is already required under the Standards adopted by the Secretary of State for accessible voter verified paper audit trails. Those standards were developed under the authority granted the Secretary of State in the Election Code to develop standards, procedures, and regulations involving the voting systems used in this state. The legislature itself made clear in the wording of Election Code 19250 that the purpose of adding a "contemporaneous paper record copy" was to use that document for conducting audits. The standards developed and legally adopted reflect that legislative intent. Yet now the Secretary of State, and the county clerk's association, have come out against using the paper record copy for conducting the required manual audit or for conducting any recounts. This position defies logic and the law.

The public testimony on this issue was overwhelmingly in favor of the need for a strong and effective method to audit automatic electronic tabulation methods. Since these electronic methods of tabulation are conducted entirely within "blackboxes" without any public observation possible, it is critical that the electorate have an independent method to confirm that their votes were recorded, counted, and tabulated accurately. The election officials of this state themselves should be embracing such a concrete method of assuring the voters, and thus increasing voter confidence in the electoral process. Instead, they oppose the very mechanism most likely to reassure the voters.
Read more...
A Report on the Hawaii VVPB/Audit Bill PDF  | Print |  Email
Hawaii
By Bart Dame for Safe Vote Hawaii   
September 21, 2005
In May 2005, the Hawaii State Legislature passed, and on July 6th the Governor signed into law, a bill requiring that any machine used for casting votes in elections in Hawaii produce a VVPAT.

For the final text of the bill (HB1740, SD2), go here:
To view the legislative history, go here:

The heart of the bill is in this section:

"No electronic voting system shall be used in any election unless it generates a paper ballot that may be inspected and corrected by the voter before the vote is cast, and unless every paper ballot is retained as the definitive record of the vote cast.

(b) The chief election officer may rely on electronic tallies created directly by electronic voting systems, in lieu of counting the paper ballots by hand or with a mechanical tabulation system if:

(1) The electronic voting system is subject to inspection, audit, and experimental testing, by qualified observers, before and after the election, pursuant to administrative rules adopted by the chief election officer under chapter 91;

(2) No upgrades, patches, fixes, or alterations shall be applied to the system through thirty days after the election;

(3) The chief election officer conducts a post-election, pre-certification audit of a random sample of not less than ten per cent of the precincts employing the electronic voting system, to verify that the electronic tallies generated by the system in those precincts equal hand tallies of the paper ballots generated by the system in those precincts; and

(4) If discrepancies appear in the pre-certification audits in paragraph (3), the chief election officer, pursuant to administrative rules, shall immediately conduct an expanded audit to determine the extent of misreporting in the system."
Read more...
Colorado - Flaws In Boulder County Election Plan PDF  | Print |  Email
Colorado
By Al Kolwicz, CAMBER   
September 21, 2005

Boulder County Election Plan Fundamentally Flawed

Originally posted at colorado voter
DATE: September 21, 2005

TO: Josh Liss
FROM: Al Kolwicz, CAMBER
CC: Linda Salas, Bill Compton, Hillary Hall, Marty Neilson,
Dean Schooler, Joe Pezzillo
RE: Draft Mail Ballot Election Plan, September 7, 2005

We have reviewed your September 7th draft Mail Ballot Election Plan, and confess to being terribly disappointed. Most if not all of the problems identified during the 2001-2004 elections have not been addressed.

There are fundamental problems with the plan. The plan is so incomplete that it is not meaningful for us to prepare a comprehensive analysis. The results from an election conducted under this plan should not be trusted.
Read more...
Report on Meeting with Rep. Saxton's Office PDF  | Print |  Email
New Jersey
By Mark Garrity   
September 17, 2005
In August VoteTrustUSA joined with Verified Voting, Common Cause, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Working Assets in coordinating In District Lobby Days in support of Rep. Rush Holt’s Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550). Most of the meetings took place on August 15 and 16, but some took a longer to schedule. One in particular resulted only after the dogged persistence of a group of dedicated activists in New Jersey’s Third District. Finally, after a month a calling, they managed to meet with Rep. Jim Saxton’s staff. The meeting leader Mark Garrity filed the following report on the meeting. Mark is just one of the many concerned citizens in this country who want to work for transparent, auditable elections. As one of the coordinators of the HR 550 Lobby Days both in DC in June and the In District Days in August, I have received many reports, written and on the phone, sometimes filled with frustration and sometimes with elation, but always imbued with the empowerment that comes from direct citizen action.
- Warren Stewart


Report on Meeting in Saxton’s Office
Submitted by Mark Garrity

Today we met with Joni Zielinski Rep. Saxton's legislative assistant for half an hour. I'd like to thank Joe McKelvey and the Bournes, Adele and John, for their cogent arguments. There really is strength in numbers. We demonstrated to Ms. Zielinski that we have experienced and knowledgeable people who are adamant about serious election reform.

As expected we didn't get an agreement from Joni to ask the congressman to co-sponsor the legislation. Her reasoning seemed to be that it's too early to put all our eggs in one basket. She mentioned there are new technologies being developed such as screen snapshots of the electronic ballot that may make paper ballots obsolete. I think we pretty well shot that idea down. She asked if we'd accept a test bed of one state for HR 550 to work out the bugs. We have 26 states now that require a paper ballot and another 13 in which paper ballot legislation proposed. We already have a lot of test beds, what we need is one set of federal guidelines that allow states leeway in choosing their own systems but requires them to have these three things: a voter verified paper ballot that becomes the ballot of record if there is a problem, random audits of 2% of each state's votes including at least one precinct per county, and federal funding so the state's don't scream about another unfunded mandate.   
Read more...
Arcata, The Voter Confidence Resolution, and the Importance of Paying Attention PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By Warren Stewart, Director of Legislative Issues and Policy, VoteTrustUSA   
September 16, 2005
The city council of Arcata in Humboldt County, California recently passed a  “Voter Confidence Resolution” as reported in an article (link) that has been reprinted on many websites. The resolution, a year and a half in the making and  promoted by Humboldt resident and Green Party Presidential candidate David Cobb, gained the support of a wide range of citizens and public interest groups. It establishes a specific platform of election reform measures aimed at encouraging participation, enhancing representation, and ensuring confidence in the accuracy and security of the election process.

One of the resolution’s authors, Dave Berman, feels this type of initiative, if adopted by cities throughout the country, could have a decisive impact on voter confidence. It would also focus attention on the election process. The article quoted Berman pointing out that ”we  must first change the national dialogue". Berman’s call for a national dialogue of the election process seems both obvious and elusive. It also  seems crucial to the cause of ensuring the integrity of our elections. The efforts of those supporting the resolution in Arcata also highlight the necessity of local action.
Read more...
National Summit to Save Our Elections PDF  | Print |  Email
Oregon
By Beth Hahn, Oregon Voter Rights Coalition   
August 26, 2005
The Oregon Voter Rights Coalition & The Alliance for Democracy - Portland will sponsor the National Summit to Save Our Elections: A Call to Rescue Our Democracy in Portland, Oregon from September 30 to October 2, 2005.
Come and learn how corporate-owned electronic election systems affect your vote, and how you can help restore citizen ownership of our elections. Top election reform advocates and renowned independent media personalities who will lead the Summit and present strategies to restore election integrity in America include:
• The Honorable Jesse Jackson Jr., U.S. House of Representatives
• David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate
• Thom Hartmann, Radio talk show host and author
• Bob Koehler, nationally syndicated columnist, Tribune Media Services
• Brad Friedman, writer and producer of the Brad Blog
• Ronnie Dugger, Alliance for Democracy
• Cliff Arnebeck, Ohio Honest Elections Campaign
• Ellen Theisen, VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA
• Paul Lehto, Attorney, plaintiff in lawsuit against Sequoia Voting Systems
and Snohomish County, WA

Read more...
Ellen Theisen Among Speakers at Portland Summit PDF  | Print |  Email
Oregon
By Joan Krawitz   
August 14, 2005
Ellen Theisen, Executive Director of VotersUnite and Director of Information Resources at VoteTrustUSA will be a featured presenter at the National Summit to Save Our Elections,  sponsored by the Oregon Voter Rights Coalition and Alliance for Democracy, on the weekend of Septe. 30-Oct. 2 in Portland, Oregon.
    Other speakers will include Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., Thom Hartmann, Paul Lehto, Brad Friedman, David Cobb, and Cliff Arnebeck. Election reform advocates from around the country will discuss how corporate-owned electronic election systems affect election outcomes, how innovative election reform approaches from around the country are making a difference, and how we can help to restore citizen ownership of our elections.
For further information, see http://summit.oregonvrc.org/ and
http://www.oregonvrc.org/files/Summit%20Flyer_B&W.PDF
Mississippi: Ballots to Have Paper Trail PDF  | Print |  Email
Mississippi
By Chris Joyner, Clarion-Ledger   
August 10, 2005
This article was originally posted in the Clarion Journal. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

New Voting Machines Will Come With Printers, Clark Says


Mississippi's new touchscreen voting machines will come equipped with a paper trail, Secretary of State Eric Clark announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Clark said he had brokered a deal with Diebold Election Systems to purchase paper printers for each of the 5,164 touchscreen ballot machines the state plans to buy from the Ohio-based manufacturer.

"All Mississippians must have confidence that their votes are accurately counted," Clark said.

"These printers will give voters an additional level of comfort as they use the new, more accurate touchscreen machines."

Last month, Diebold inked a $22.5 million contract with the state to provide the machines as part of the state's effort to comply with the Help America Vote Act, a massive voter reform bill passed in the wake of the disputed 2000 presidential election. The Diebold machines have drawn criticism in some quarters for not providing "a paper trail" — that is, a paper record of a voter's choice to compare with the electronic version.
Read more...
Diebold's Failure in California PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By John Gideon, Information Manager VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA   
August 04, 2005
On July 29, 2005 it was reported that certification of the Diebold TSx GEMS v. 1.18.22 had been denied by the Secretary of State, Bruce McPherson. The initial report told of a 10% failure rate due to jammed printers and computer "crashes". [1]

Just 5 days later, the newspapers reported that the failures were twice as bad as originally reported, and the failures were not centered in the printers but were instead software issues. Of the 96 voting machines tested, 19 failed with a total of 21 crashes resulting in a blue screen and messages about an "illegal operation" or a "fatal exception error." Also, 10 machines had a total of 11 printer jams. Nearly one-third of the test machines failed in one way or another. [2]
Read more...
California: Diebold TSx Rejected After State Tests PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By John Gideon, Information Manager, VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.org   
August 03, 2005
On July 29, 2005 newspapers in California were reporting that the Diebold TSx voting machines had failed in a mock election test. The papers reported a 10% failure rate on a voting system that had just been federally qualified only 2 months previously.

The reports from California led to the following email to be sent to the Elections Assistance Commission:

 To: ,
Subject: E-voting machines rejected after state tests
 
Re:  http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_2898234
 
This article in the Fresno Bee is striking in that it points out how poorly a particular voting system (Diebold TSx 1.18.22) performed during certification testing in a state (California). This exact same voting system has been purchased by the state of Mississippi and is being forced on it's counties. This is probably the exact same voting system that is to be purchased by the state of Utah.

The one question on everyone's lips is; "How did this system get qualified?" The idea of the ITA qualification system should be to ensure that any voting system being sold to states and/or counties is accurate and works as it is supposed to.

Read more...
Arizona Election Administration Information PDF  | Print |  Email
Arizona
By VoteTrustUSA   
July 28, 2005
 Chief State Elections Official

Jan Brewer (Elected, R), Secretary of State
State Capitol, West Wing, 7th Floor
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona  85007-2808

Public Office Experience: Senator, Arizona State Senate, 1986-1996
Representative, Arizona State House, 1982-1996, Chair, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Reelection Date: 2006

Responsibilities: Prescribes voter registration forms, Determines ballot eligibility of parties, Approves new voting systems/ devices, Advertises statewide ballot questions, Prepares election calendar, Canvasses election returns, Handles state recounts

Kevin Tyne, Deputy Secretary of State

Joe Kanefield, State Election Director
E-Mail:
602/542-8683   FAX 602/542-6172
 
Citizens Commission on Clean Elections
David G. McKay, Chairman
1616 West Adams, Suite 110
Phoenix, Arizona  85007
URL http://www.ccec.state.az.us
602/364-3477   FAX 602/364-3487

Responsibilities: Full Public Funding to Statewide and Legislative, Candidates, Candidate Statement Pamphlet, Voter Education, Sponsorship of Candidate Debates, Regulation of Campaign Finance Reports 
Read more...
Arkansas Election Administration Information PDF  | Print |  Email
Arkansas
By VoteTrustUSA   
July 28, 2005
Chief State Election Official

Charlie Daniels (Elected, D), Secretary of State
256 State Capitol Building
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
URL http://www.sos.arkansas.gov
501/682-1010   FAX 501/682-3510

Public Office Experience: Member, Parker's Chapel School Board, 1972-1974.
Reelection Date: 2006

Responsibilities: Prescribes voter registration forms, Determines ballot eligibility of parties, Approves new voting systems/ devices, Advertises statewide ballot questions, Prepares election calendar, Canvasses election returns

Janet Miller, Deputy Secretary for Elections & Public Affairs
501/682-1010  FAX 501/682-3510

Jill Belin, Director of Elections
026 State Capitol Building
Little Rock, Arkansas  72201
E-Mail:
501/682-5070   FAX 501/682-3408

Susie Stormes, Director
Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners
501 Woodlane Avenue, Suite 122
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 
URL http://www.state.ar.us/sbec/
E-Mail:
501/682-1834   FAX 501/682-1782

Secondary Officials: County Election Commissioners
Appointment Process: The Republicans and Democrats appoint 2 people, and the party with the most constitutional offices appoints the third.
Responsibilities: Handle recounts.
Read more...
California Election Integrity Information PDF  | Print |  Email
California
By VoteTrustUSA   
July 28, 2005
Chief State Elections Official

Bruce McPherson (R), Acting Secretary of State
1500 11th Street, 6th Floor
Sacramento, California  95814-2974

URL http://www.ss.ca.gov/
916/653-7244   FAX 916/653-4620

Public Office Experience: Senator, California State Senate, District 15, 1996-2004, Assembly member, California State Assembly, District 27, 1993-1996
Reelection Date: 2006

Responsibilities: Prescribes voter registration forms, Determines ballot eligibility of parties, Approves new voting systems/ devices, Advertises statewide ballot questions, Prepares election calendar, Canvasses election returns, Handles state recounts.

Brad Clark, Assistant Secretary of State, Elections for California

John Mott-Smith, Chief
Elections Division
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, California  95814-2974
916/657-2166   FAX 916/653-3214
1-800/345-8683 (Toll Free)
Read more...
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