Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Last Friday California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson issued directives to the state's counties establishing conditions on the use of voting equipment in the Nov. 8 statewide special election. These directives reflect a continuation of the security requirements implemented by the previous secretary of state, Kevin Shelley, during the 2004 election. Secretary McPherson is continuing to require California's electronic voting counties to have a supply of paper ballots available in polling places for those voters who prefer not to vote on touchscreens. Unfortunately, these ballots can and most likely will be treated as provisional ballots, which means that voters exercising this right will have to complete a provisional ballot envelope and may worry that their right to cast a secret ballot may be compromised or that their ballot may not get counted at all. CVF is urging California voters who are concerned about using electronic voting machines to request a paper, absentee ballot and vote by mail or drop it off at the polling place on election day. See CVF's voting systems map to find out which California counties will be using electronic voting machines on November 8.