Humboldt Dems' Subcommittee Advances HCPB Resolution
By Dave Berman
The six-member Communication and Education Committee, actually a subcommittee of the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC), tonight unanimously passed the hand-counted paper ballot resolution below. As with the Voter Confidence Resolution, this makes a fine template for groups anywhere so feel free to repurpose it. As it stands, this will now come before the full Central Committee on Feb. 13.
Whereas elections in Humboldt County rely on Diebold's (now Premier) precinct-based optical scanners, and Diebold's GEMS central tabulator program to combine all precinct results; and
Whereas computer security experts have repeatedly demonstrated and documented the ability to tamper with this equipment, changing election results without leaving behind a trace of evidence; and
Whereas academic studies have repeatedly demonstrated and documented that security flaws in this equipment exist by design, and cannot be remedied with "procedural mitigations," or new security methods; and
Whereas claims of "trade secrecy" prevent citizens, the media, and even elections officials from observing the inner workings of this equipment, denying everyone the right to see their vote counted as cast;
Whereas elections conducted under these conditions require blind trust, or faith, to accept unverifiable and inherently uncertain outcomes that provide no rational basis for confidence in the reported results; and
Whereas the County of Humboldt is free to choose not to use Diebold's equipment, and is likewise not prevented from choosing to hand-count paper ballots at poll sites on election night; and
Whereas hand-counting paper ballots provides transparency, security, and verifiable accuracy that creates a rational basis for confidence in reported results;
Therefore be it resolved, the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee hereby calls for Humboldt County to discontinue use of Diebold equipment and to introduce hand-counting of all ballots no later than the June 2008 primary election; and
Therefore be it further resolved that the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee will commit some of its resources to educating the community about the benefits of this change, and to recruit registered voters to serve as pollworkers and/or vote counters.