Tomorrow the state's Voting Systems and Procedures panel will meet in Sacramento at the Secretary of State's office, 1500 11th Street. This is the first meeting of the VSPP since Bruce McPherson became Secretary of State, and the composition of the panel has changed. The new chair is Undersecretary of State Bill Wood, and we will likely find out tomorrow which panel members are going to be retained and who will be added.
The agenda for tomorrow's meeting includes several Sequoia and Diebold voting system components up for certification, including Diebold's new "Accuview" voter verified paper audit trail feature. I saw this feature demonstrated recently at the Secretary of State's office, and it operates similar to Sequoia's printer, storing the voter verified paper records in a reel-to-reel fashion. When I asked the representative for the vendor how Diebold envisions election officials using the stored paper to perform the manual count required to verify the accuracy of the voting software, he replied that their customers might instead print out electronic ballot images and use those to perform the manual count.
Since this process does nothing to help verify the accuracy of the voting equipment software, it will be important to ensure that the procedures the VSPP adopts to accompany the new paper trail equipment stipulate that the voter verified paper records be used to perform the manual count. Already there is legislation moving in the Capitol to clarify this in the law (see AB 1636/Umberg and SB 370/Bowen).