Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Senate committee approves bill to ban all e-voting machines in November

By Anna Oberthur, The Associated Press, May 5, 2004

Today the Senate Elections Committee passed SB 1723, a bill that would ban e-voting in California this November, on a bipartisan 3-1 vote.

At the beginning of the hearing, Senator Don Perata (D-Alameda), who co-sponsored the bill and also chairs the committee, said that given Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's decertification orders last Friday and plan to implement tighter e-voting security, he was ready to put this bill aside. But he changed his mind after learning that Riverside and possibly other counties and their registrars are preparing to sue the Secretary of State over his decertification order.

The next stop for this bill is the Senate floor, where it must receive a two-thirds vote before May 28 in order to advance to the Assembly.


"The key to democracy is that everyone's vote counts and is counted. The electronic voting machines used in the March primary failed to meet that fundamental test," said one of the bill's authors, Sen. Ross Johnson, R-Irvine.

The bill would not allow the use of any form of electronic voting, including touch-screen machines, in the Nov. 2 general election. It would apply only to that election.


On Tuesday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to sue Shelley for decertifying the county's touch-screen voting system.

The board decided in closed session to go to court to stop Shelley's "assault on the touch-screen voting system pioneered by Riverside County," board chairman Roy Wilson said.

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