Thursday, May 5, 2005

Washington State enacts paper trail law

Yesterday Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a package of election reform bills which includes a voter verified paper record requirement for electronic voting machines. The bills were signed at a time when her opponent in last fall's election won a legal victory in his efforts to overturn the results of that election.

Excerpts from Associated Press story by Rachel La Corte:


Gov. Christine Gregoire on Tuesday signed a batch of bills introduced as a result of her contested election, including measures that will streamline election standards across the state and enhance voter registration records.


Under the measures, counties will have an easier time switching to all-mail voting; those with touch-screen voting machines must produce a paper record of votes; and the secretary of state's office will review county election procedures every three years.


The measures were signed a day after Republicans won a significant victory in their legal battle to overturn Gregoire's win. A judge in Wenatchee decided Monday that Republicans can use a type of statistical analysis to try to prove that illegal votes swayed the election that put Gregoire in the governor's mansion with just 129 votes out of 2.9 million cast.


Joining Gregoire at the bill signing event in her conference room were several lawmakers who crafted the bills, and Secretary of State Sam Reed, who headed up her election reform task force earlier this year.

"I feel a sense of accomplishment because it was the most difficult political environment because of this gubernatorial recount and all of its repercussions," Reed said after the bill signings.


The omnibus election reform bill is Senate Bill 5499, the voter registration record-keeping bill is Senate Bill 5743, the paper trail bill is Senate Bill 5395, the all-mail voting bill is House Bill 1754, the out-of-state voters' information bill is Senate Bill 5565 and the election law manual bill is Senate Bill 5564.

No comments:

Post a Comment