Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Panels recommends counties use paper backup ballots

By Jim Wasserman, Associated Press, April 28, 2004

Today the California Secretary of State's Voting Systems and Procedures Panel passed a motion prohibiting further purchases of paperless, electronic voting systems in California. The panel also voted to require counties that use paperless electronic systems to provide paper ballots in polling places as an option for voters who prefer to vote on paper.

While the panel did not go as far as I had hoped -- decertification of all paperless electronic systems in California -- it did make several decisions today that point California in a good direction. Today's decision, combined with last week's decision, if implemented by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, mean that California's inventory of paperless electronic machines will be reduced by one-third and that in the future electronic voting machines will only be permitted in California if they produce an accessible voter verified paper audit trail.

The panel also voted to require the papereless e-voting counties to provide provisional ballots in a paper, rather than electronic form. They adopted a number of security measures, many of which were included in Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's February 5 security directive which several county registrars chose to ignore.

On Friday Kevin Shelley is expected to announce his decision on the decertification matter.

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