Vets For Peace Chapter 56 Reiterates Call For Hand-Counting Paper Ballots
By Dave Berman
Following recent announcements by the Redwood ACLU and the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC), on Thursday night Veterans For Peace Chapter 56 adopted a resolution calling for Humboldt County, CA to switch to all hand-counted paper ballots by the June 2008 primary election. The statement, shown in full below, is nearly identical to the one adopted February 18 by the HCDCC.
There is no question we now have momentum in this, what I call the Humboldt Hand-Count Campaign. See the Voter Confidence Committee website for materials easily adapted for similar campaigns elsewhere. I know there is interest in this in other parts because I keep getting asked to do radio interviews. Here is one (.mp3) I did recently with Dan Ashby and Marj Creech of the Election Defense Alliance.
The local VFP group has repeatedly given support to VCC initiatives that I have brought them. As an associate member, I am grateful for the forum and time shared with these extraordinary people. They will have a press release out soon and I expect the resolution will make it onto their website. Meanwhile, here it is...
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Resolution In Support of Hand-Counting Paper Ballots
Adopted By Veterans For Peace Chapter 56
March 6, 2008
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; and
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, Veterans For Peace Chapter 56 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 Veterans For Peace Chapter 56 will support educating the community about the benefits of this change, and to recruit registered voters to serve as pollworkers and/or vote counters.
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