Friday, January 6, 2006

Interesting news from Connecticut and Wisconsin

There are two important election verification developments to report this week. As was reported by the AP yesterday, Connecticut's Secretary of State, Susan Bysiewicz announced that she has "pulled the plug" on that state's plans to buy electronic voting machines and is planning to stick with mechanical lever machines for now.

According to the AP story, Danaher Controls was the finalist in Connecticut's bid process but had "misled the state and had not yet sought proper certification to meet state and federal requirements. Bysiewicz's office made the discovery during final negotiations with the company." Other voting machine companies also failed to meet the state's needs, and no company could provide a certified electronic machine that displays a voter's entire ballot and provides a voter-verified paper trail as required by state law.

In Wisconsin, the Associated Press reported that Governor Jim Doyle signed legislation to require electronic voting machines to produce a voter-verified paper trail. As Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign told reporters, "This is important to democracy, because if voters can't trust that their votes are being counted and election officials don't have a paper record that they can go back and review during recounts, then we're lost."

According to Verified Voting, there are now 26 states that have enacted voter-verified paper trail requirements, either through regulation or legislation.

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