Friday, February 20, 2004

Wired News - E-Voting Activists: Vote Absentee

By Kim Zetter, Wired News, 02/20/04 Wired and several other news organizations featured stories today about CVF's news release urging voters in California's 14 electronic voting counties to request and vote paper absentee ballots. The Wired story includes a photo from the Oakland, California Grand Lake Theatre's marquee encouraging people to demand absentee ballots.

The Riverside Press Enterprise also ran a story (registration required) by Tim Miller, with responses from some county election officials that CVF's actions were "destructive" and that a surge in absentee ballots returned to polling places would slow down the tabulation of votes.

It's been an interesting week. CVF has heard a lot of supporting words for our absentee ballot suggestion. We've also heard some good questions, like "Won't this undermine voter confidence?" The last thing we'd want to do is undermine voter confidence. We want voters to be confident, and that's why we want ballots backed up on paper.

Another story I really enjoyed reading this week was Lee Nichols' piece in the Austin Chronicle, "How Safe Is Your E-Vote?", featuring interesting comments from election officials and activists. I particularly liked Adina Levin's quote:

"If I choose on my touch screen or Hart selector, and something goes wrong between the thing that I choose and the thing that gets written electronically, even if it gets written in three different places, or 10 different places, or a hundred different places, it's still different from what I selected. And if I don't have an independent way of recording what I [saw on the computer screen] and going back to check, there's no way of knowing. You're never, ever gonna know."

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