Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Alameda County Board of Supervisors will vote today on voting technology plans

Today the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will meet and vote on whether to endorse the Registrar of Voter's plan to move from an all-electronic voting system to a "blended" system, relying more heavily on paper ballots in the polls. The county is also going to decide whether to open the bidding for a new system to all vendors. The new plan represents a significant shift in Alameda County -- just two months ago the supervisors voted to stick with Diebold and an all-electronic voting system. The supervisors' meeting starts at 10 a.m. and this issue is item 15 on the agenda. A live audio webcast of the meeting is available online.

These developments in Alameda are welcome news. Back in June, when I addressed the Board of Supervisors I made several recommendations, including that they go with a blended system and open up their equipment procurement process to other vendors. I left that June board meeting deeply disappointed by the course of action the county chose to take. Hopefully today the board will vote to change their course and move toward greater reliance on paper voting systems, which are more transparent, affordable and secure than electronic voting machines.

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