Re: Fw: ACR 242 Progress

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Aug 13 2004 - 09:48:28 CDT

Well they just killed one of the bills we're watching... I believe its 1438:,1413,86~10671~2332145,00.html

Lawmakers cut e-voting's paper trail

Manufacturers demonstrating new printers in Nevada were embarrassed
when machine failed to recognize votes

By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

California Democratic lawmakers killed legislation on Thursday that
would require electronic voting machines to offer a paper trail for
the next statewide election.

Rejection of the paper-trail bill could delay, but not prevent, use of
a popular safeguard on electronic voting until after the 2006 primary

Los Angeles Democrat Judy Chu, chairwoman of the Assembly
Appropriations Committee, pulled the bill from consideration, her
staff said, because of concerns about cost.

A few days before, a major voting-machine manufacturer was embarrassed
by the apparent failure of its latest machine to accurately reflect
votes in Spanish during a demonstration in the state capital.

Click Here!

"It just sort of proved our whole point," said Darren Chesin, staff
director for the Senate Elections and Reapportionment Committee,
chaired by Senate Majority Leader Don Perata, D-Oakland. "Obviously,
this thing was not hacked, but they are prone to certain errors.
That's the point of the paper trail."

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley last fall ordered all counties using
touch-screen voting machines in July 2006 to produce a paper printout
so that a voter could confirm their choices were properly recorded.

Perata and Sen. Ross Johnson,

R-Irvine, the Senate elections committee co-chairman, put in
legislation to move the deadline up to January 2006 for the so-called
voter-verified paper trail. Both represent counties where electronic
voting proved troublesome in the March primary. Shelley endorsed the

Several small e-voting vendors already were producing touch-screens
with paper trails. None had sold to counties. But the signals out of
California and other states sent the "Big Three" vendors -- Sequoia
Voting Systems, Diebold Election Systems and Election Systems &
Software -- to work on paper-trail printers and devices.

California stopped short of demanding a paper trail for November.
Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller ordered it for his state. Last
week, Sequoia vice president and former California assistant secretary
of state Alfie Charles was showing off the new Veri-

Vote printer that his firm is supplying to Nevada when an astute
legislative aide in Johnson's office noticed two votes were missing.

Charles tried again to vote in Spanish with the same result: He cast
votes on two mock ballot initiatives, but they were absent from the
electronic summary screen and the paper trail.

"The paper trail itself seemed to work fine but what it revealed was
when he demonstrated voting in Spanish, the machine itself did not
record his vote," Chesin said. "Programming errors can occur and the
paper trail was the way we caught it."

Charles said his company's touch-screen actually did record the
electronic votes in its memory but through an oversight failed to
reflect the votes on its electronic display and printout.

"There's no problem with the way the equipment worked. It was a
problem in the ballot setup," Charles said. "People do make mistakes
and that's why you have ballot proofing. Because it was for
demonstration purposes, we didn't put all the attention into it that
we should have. That would never have occurred in a regular election."

It's one reason that more than 20 states are debating or demanding
paper trails for their touch-screen voting machines.

"That's the point of the printer," Charles said. "It's to notify the
voter if there's some anomaly that (doesn't) get caught before the
election ... In that case I think it works very well."

Los Angeles Democrats and Republicans dominate the Assembly
Appropriations Committee. County elections officials plan to purchase
Diebold touch-screens as early as 2006 and have complained that
requiring a paper trail will increase the cost of what will be the
nation's largest single e-voting purchase.

Will Doherty, executive director of, said his and
other voting reform organizations will keep pressing for a paper trail
sooner rather than later.

Until 2006, however, existing touch-screens will remain unable to
produce an independent vote record for manual recounts that are
required by state law.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
UC Berkeley, SIMS PhD Student
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:10 2004

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