Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Miami Herald endorses voter verified paper trail

Editorial, The Miami Herald,12/14/2003


"In big counties such as ours, retrofitting these machines can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the alternative is worse: potentially disfranchising thousands of voters. That's unacceptable, particularly after the 2000 presidential election. In Miami-Dade County, for example, a post-election analysis of 31 precincts in that election showed that 8.2 percent fewer votes were counted than the number of voter signatures recorded in those precincts. These kinds of results erode trust in the fairness of elections."

Sunday, December 21, 2003

County's voting machines aren't federally approved

By Warren Lutz, Fairfield Daily Republic, 12/20/03


"After hearing Diebold's system had not yet passed federal tests, District 2 Supervisor John Silva suggested Friday that it might be easier for the county to use paper ballots with Diebold's optical scanning equipment in March.

"I still have concerns with Diebold," Silva said. "Why not just go to optical scan?"

District 1 Supervisor Barbara Kondylis said the county is bound to its contract with Diebold but also expressed concern with the lack of state and federal certification on the new machines.

She, too, didn't know until this week that the systems had not passed federal tests.

"If they're not certified, that may change things," Kondylis said."

Friday, December 19, 2003

Diebold e-voting system not approved by feds

Tri-Valley Herald Online/ANG Newspapers


"Banking on Diebold Election Systems' assurances that its new electronic voting machine had federal approval or soon would, four California counties are shelling out $45.5 million to use the latest in digital democracy for the 2004 presidential election.

"Three counties -- San Joaquin, Solano and Kern -- already have thousands of the new Diebold TSx machines sitting in warehouses. Solano elections officials showed them off Thursday to Christmas shoppers in a local mall.

"Yet as the March primary approaches, the TSx remains unapproved by any federal authority.

"That shocks San Joaquin Registrar of Voters Debbie Hench. San Joaquin's $5.7 million contract with Diebold requires state and federally approved voting machines. "We're all holding our breath. We're hoping it's certified," she said."

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

E-Voting Undermined by Sloppiness

Kim Zetter, Wired News, 12/17/03


"Diebold admitted wrongdoing Tuesday at a meeting of the state's Voting Systems Panel, or VSP, and said it was making changes to its procedures for upgrading its systems.

"But Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who made an unprecedented appearance before the VSP, said he was disturbed by the company's actions and would not rule out the possibility of decertifying the machines in California.

""The core of our American democracy is the right to vote," Shelley said. "Implicit in that right is the notion that that vote be private, that vote be secure, and that vote be counted as it was intended when it was cast by the voter. And I think what we're encountering is a pivotal moment in our democracy where all of that is being called into question.""

Untested Software Used in Elections

By Ian Hoffman, ANG Newspapers


"Digital voting giant Diebold Election Systems took a staggering blow Wednesday as California officials reported that Diebold ran uncertified -- and in some cases untested -- software in all 17 counties where it counted votes in the state's last two elections. " ...

"Stunned, state elections officials put off final approval of Diebold's latest touchscreen voting machine, the TSX, already purchased in the thousands or contracted by four California counties for $45 million."...

"Former weightlifter and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger swept the state by such broad margins that small discrepancies of thousands of votes would not have mattered, Alexander said.

"If we hadn't had wide margins, I think we would have had a fullblown crisis. I think we would have had a Florida-style meltdown in Alameda County, even without the chads," she said. "But we shouldn't have to rely on wide margins and exit polls to confirm election results." "

Friday, December 12, 2003

Nevada Secretary of State to implement voter verified paper trail by 2004

Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller's news release


"Secretary of State Dean Heller announced at news conferences today in Reno and Las Vegas his decision to purchase for all Nevada counties Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines. In an unprecedented move, he also announced he is mandating a voter verifiable receipt printer be included on all newly purchased DRE machines for the 2004 election. In doing so, Heller becomes the first state election official to demand a voter verifiable receipt before the 2006 election."

San Francisco Chronicle endorses voter verified paper trail

Editorial, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/11/03


"In California, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley responded to these legitimate concerns by ordering that all electronic voting machines leave a paper trail by July 2006. This wise decision, which will undoubtedly influence the rest of the country, will also increase our confidence that our vote can be verified on paper.

"No computer system is completely infallible or impenetrable. Establishment of a paper trail is an important safeguard."

LA Times Editorial endorses voter verified paper trail

Los Angeles Times, 12/12/04


"Voters' rights cannot be guaranteed merely by installing jazzy machines with shiny new buttons. One doesn't have to be a conspiracy theorist to recognize that the gadgets — as well as the people who build, program and operate them — need vigorous oversight."

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

San Bernardino County Sun - News

A Matter of Record ``The opponents of the paper trail believe that the burden of proof is on the critics to show that the voting machines aren't working,'' said Kim Alexander, president of the Davis-based California Voter Foundation. ``I think the burden of proof is on the election officials to show that the voting machines are working.''

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

New York Times editorial supports voter verified paper trail

Editorial, New York Times, 12/8/03


"The most reasonable answer is to require that the machines be equipped with printers that will produce what Representative Rush Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, calls a "parallel paper record" of the vote. That makes sense to us. Like deeds, diplomas and other vital public documents, the nation's votes still need to be preserved somewhere on paper."

"California last month took the lead in demanding a backup paper tally of the vote when Secretary of State Kevin Shelley ordered that by July 2006, all electronic screen voting machines must have a "voter verified paper audit trail." Since California is expected to spend about $400 million on its new machines, the big voting machine companies are scrambling to make the paper options available and workable.

California's push also may make it easier for other states that are still circling the voting machine issue"