Washington SoS to require VVPAT--and a word about AutoMark

From: Dennis <dpaull_at_svpal_dot_org>
Date: Thu Dec 18 2003 - 12:32:21 CST

Hi all,

FYI, on a paper trail in Washington State. Also included is a short
description of a potential competitor, AutoMark, a machine made by Vogue.

Dennis Paull

>From: Judy Bertelsen <jsb3c@flash.net>
>Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 00:28:40 -0800
>Subject: Washington SoS to require VVPAT--and a word about the AutoMark
>Dear All,
>A member of the League of Women Voters has posted the following and has
>given me permission to post it to others, using her name. Please take a
>look, both at the comments about the AutoMark system and the news
>release from the Secretary of State of Washington state.
>Our Secretary of State, who circulated the LWVUS position on unnecessary
>paper trails to all election officials last summer, has reversed himself and
>is now drafting legislation which will require electronic voting machines to
>offer a paper audit trail. (Press release copied below) Although the fine
>print is not yet available, his public turnaround should offer encouragement
>to those who felt they were been fighting an uphill battle. I believe the
>tide is turning. We have only one county which has purchased DRE's. I
>believe this will cause all our other punch card counties to purchase
>optical scan equipment. Speaking of which, yesterday I saw a demonstration
>of the AutoMark equipment made by Vogue and think it is going to be THE
>solution. This is a Touch Screen machine which can handle up to 8
>It fills in the optical scan type ballot according to the voters
>instructions which the voter then places in the optical scan box along with
>all the others for counting and later recounting if necessary. Everyone can
>use the same English only ballot, because all the instructions for voting
>can be given on the Touch Screen in the necessary foreign language. The
>equipment is
>to be manufactured in San Diego and will be ready to begin the certification
>process mid January. Actually, since this equipment does not tally or
>count, there was some discussion about whether or not it had to be
>certified, but others pointed out that part of that process deals with how
>well it withstands heat, humidity, dropping, etc. which is a valuable
>process. Very exciting times!!
>LWV Seattle
>Issued: December 16, 2003
>SEATTLE...To ensure public confidence in the democratic process, Secretary
>of State Sam Reed and several county election administrators announced
>proposed legislation today that will require electronic voting machines in
>Washington to offer a paper audit trail.
>"As Secretary of State and an elections administrator for more than 20
>years, my priority is voter confidence in the election process," said Reed.
>"If this means adding another redundancy to new voting systems, such as a
>paper audit trail, you'd better believe I will pursue that option."
>Several states are implementing electronic voting because of new federal
>mandates in the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), sweeping election reform
>designed to prevent the 2000 General Election debacle in Florida from
>reoccurring. Under HAVA, "touch-screen" or similar voting machines must be
>available at each poll site by January of 2006 to better assist those with
>"The federal mandate is designed in part to give the visually impaired the
>ability to vote a secret ballot for the first time," said Reed. "We must
>ensure that access for all citizens while maintaining public trust."
>Under Reed's bill, equipment certified in Washington must allow voters to
>verify on paper that their ballot selections have been recorded correctly.
>"Essentially, this takes what's called second-chance voting a step further,"
>explained Reed.
>Second-chance voting gives citizens an opportunity to review their
>selections before casting their final ballots to minimize voter error. Paper
>verification would then allow voters to make sure their ballots were
>properly recorded.
>The bill requires all ballot-counting systems to be physically secure to
>guard against unauthorized access. It prohibits the Secretary from
>certifying a system that operates with a connection to any electronic
>network, including the Internet.
>Reed's bill does away with current law that limits certification to
>equipment already in use elsewhere in the nation.
>It creates a task force of elections and computer security experts to study
>and determine any potential for election fraud with new electronic systems.
>The task force will consist of:
>at least five county election administrators with at least five years of
>experience in administering elections in Washington;
>At least five computer experts with a minimum of five years experience in
>maintaining the security of computer systems;
>And the Secretary of State or a designee as chair.
>Finally, the bill will also include language to permit electronic
>verification if such technology is approved by the Federal Elections
>Assistance Commission and is practical and acceptable to voters.
>Currently, Snohomish County has the only operating touch screen voting
>machines in Washington State. Every poll site will be required to offer at
>least one touch screen voting machine or similar equipment to better assist
>those with disabilities by 2006.
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:14 2003

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