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And yet another collection of responses to "A Bit Of A Quandary" Part 5

By Joan Brunwasser, Voting Integrity Editor, OpEdNews  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
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I’m feeling the pressures of Passover preparation as the holiday quickly approaches. Letters continue to flow in; I don’t want to lose the momentum begun less than two weeks ago with my original piece "A Bit of A Quandary". This will be the last collection of responses for a few days. Read and think about what the writers have to say. And then, jump in with your two cents worth.

I’m looking for more, articulate supporters of HR 550 to give their point of view. This will make the coverage less lopsided. Also, don’t restrict yourselves to HR 550. Anything having to do with the voting process is fair game (campaign finance, 527’s, campaigns, voting registration, etc.). OpEdNews is also featuring various stand-alone pieces, which are too long to allow them to be bundled with others. Make sure you check them out, too. By the time I’m back in the saddle, you’ll all be more expert on the subject and we can elevate the level of the debate!


One of the ways the opposition is trying to block the hand counted paper ballot movement is by saying that hand counting takes too long. Obviously, since the Canadians can do their federal elections in 4 hours, hand counted paper ballots can be counted in 4 hours. (This is a great deal faster than, perhaps, most machine elections--Lucas County (Toledo, Ohio) in their recent Diebold DRE election took 11.5+ hours!) The opposition especially tries to claim this when there are many races/issues, many voters, and with IRV (instant runoff voting).

I believe speed is an objective, not for the convenience of news reporters, but for security reasons. Speed is a security issue because the longer the voted ballots sit around before being counted, the more they are in danger of being corrupted.

Many races/issues, many voters, and IRV do take more labor, but they do not have to take more time. The way to make this go fast is to have as many more counters as are needed to complete the counting in 4 hours.

Many races/issues and IRV ballots get passed through many counters, but if there are several ballots separated into categories of votes (federal, state, issues, etc.), then more counters can work on all of them from the start.

Jo Anne Karasek, Voting Activist, Ohio

HR 550 - More harm than good.

HR 550 does not solve the digital ballot problem. It creates the false illusion that it does, and moves us in the wrong direction.

A second and third ballot -- the paper audit trail and bar code -- will result in increased legal disputes, uncertainty, and loss of voter confidence.

Digital ballots must be outlawed -- until it can be proven that they can be made transparent, anonymous, and verifiably secure and accurate. At present they are not.

For an election to be trustworthy, the recording, interpretation, and counting of each eligible elector's intent must be verified and performed in a fully transparent and anonymous manner. The public must believe that results reflect the intent of the voters.

The problem with direct record electronic (DRE) voting equipment is that it records votes electronically. Digital ballots have been permitted to evolve because of two major flaws:

1. Wrong requirements -- Voting equipment vendors and election officials are recklessly attempting to reduce cost and increase convenience. They are ignoring the non-negotiable requirements. Reduce cost and increase convenience only when an election system is: (a) transparent, (b) anonymous, and (c) verifiably secure and accurate. To sacrifice any of these higher requirements will result in an untrustworthy election.

2. Wrong architecture -- Some people incorrectly assume that private voting for disabled voters requires digital ballots. A user interface for disabled-voters does not require that votes be stored on digital ballots. Votes must be stored on a medium that can be (a) transparent, (b) anonymous, and (c) verifiably secure and accurate. Paper meets these requirements.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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