VotersUnite Proposals for new Holt Legislation

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Nov 23 2006 - 09:19:55 CST

On 11/22/06, Nancy Tobi <> wrote:

In case anyone has not yet seen Gideon/Thiessan's proposal:
John and Ellen's proposals leave U.S. elections wide open to
outcome-altering tampering and errors, just like the former Holt bill that
they supported.

While I heartily agree with the aims and intentions of Ellen and John, and
agree with many of their proposals, several of their proposals are either
unconstitutional, virtually impossible, or would unnecessarily waste
taxpayer dollars on junk technology; and their proposals are wholly
insufficient to detect and correct vote miscounts that could wrongly alter
election outcomes.

Specifically, I have problems with these provisions:

#2 disclosed software means that voting system experts would not be allowed
to look at the software. The software, for many reasons, needs to be
required to be "open source" software, not "disclosed" software. Most
experts would not be able to review or help modify and improve 'disclosed
software'. Much of the software we use now is already 'disclosed' software
and you see how little good that has done. Consult with The Open Voting
Consortium for more information on this.

#3 while I agree 100% that electronic ballot voting systems should be
instantly dumped, it is a violation of the US constitution to mandate
particular voting systems which is why the 2002 HAVA law did not mandate any
particular voting equipment, but rather only provided funding for certain
types of voting equipment, including unfortunately DREs. If you want to
eliminate DREs, you must only fund paper ballot systems, not outlaw DREs.

#5 providing funds to convert DREs to ballot printers is a ludricrous
unconscienable waste of funds because current DRE cases, stands, ports, etc.
are not suitable for converting to ballot printers; and providing a
computerized device for each voter is unnecessary and expensive and wastes
invaluable administrative time for election officials. It would be far less
expensive to simply provide funds to provide one ballot printer or ballot
creation assist device per polling location for the disabled to use and
allow the rest of us to fill out paper ballots by hand. Current DREs are
not suitable for conversion to ballot printers.

However, the major HUGE flaws with Ellen and John's proposal is what it is

1. a requirement for independent manual audits to ensure that machine vote
counts are correct! We all know that vote tampering and errors are
possible and occur widely with optical scan paper ballots. Neglecting a
requirement for routine sufficient independent scientific manual audits of
machine vote counts is an OPEN INVITATION to undetectable outcome-altering
vote tampering with both paper ballots and electronic counts of paper
ballots, and

2. a requirement to make publicly available election records that reveal
fraud and mistakes, and

3. a requirement for routine independent audits of machine allocation,
denial of service, undervote, overvote, and uncounted ballot rates, absentee
and provisional ballot & voter registration handling, and other crucial
measures of voter service.

Here is an actual legislative proposal for Utah that could be revised for
federal legislation to include some of the good points from Ellen and John's

I am currently writing and asking for advice on the above proposal that is
based on this paper:

Kathy Dopp
National Election Data Archive
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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:11 2006

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