Annotated Bibliography of 15 Expert Reports
on Voting Systems and Fair Vote Counts
Summarized by Rady Ananda
On behalf of J30 Coalition
January 18, 2007
In response to the numerous failings of electronic voting systems, as summarized below, the majority of these experts offer electronic audit solutions, enhanced security protocols, greater enforcement of existing laws, and proposals for new law, election procedures, and backup systems, at additional exorbitant cost to taxpayers.
The well-financed and most visible portion of the election integrity movement agrees with these solutions.
None of these solutions, however, meet the Fair Vote Count standard enumerated by international authority (OSCE, below, to which the US is a signatory. See page 9). Humans cannot observe the vote count when it is conducted inside a machine, be it touch screen, optical scan, mechanical lever, or any other machine tabulator. No amount of audits, security protocols, or paper trails will change the fact that machines count the vote secretly.
Key policy makers, on the other hand, see no urgency in reconsidering electronic voting systems. Warren Stewart of www.VoteTrustUSA.org recently advised,
"The incoming chair of the Committee on House Administration (which crafted HAVA), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), has let it be known ... that it will not mandate any voting technology changes until 2011."
This position simply ignores the science.
As to the most appropriate and best next step, a vocal portion of non-experts envisions an entirely different solution. We rely on expert conclusions about what doesn't work, and we rely on expert descriptions of what constitutes a democratic election: hand-counted paper ballots, at the precinct, before all who wish to observe.
Emphasis in the annotations below appeared in the original document.
Brennan Center, The Machinery of Democracy: Protecting Elections in an Electronic World, 2006 http://www.brennancenter.org/programs/downloads/Full%20Report.pdf
Compuware Corp. DRE Technical Security Assessment Report for Ohio, November 2003.
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Congressional Research Service, Election Reform and Electronic Voting Systems (DREs): Analysis of Security Issues. (Order Code RL32139) November 4, 2003. click here
Cuyahoga Election Review Panel, Final Report, July 20, 2006 www.cuyahogavoting.org/CERP_Final_Report_20060720.pdf Reviewed by Kim Zetter of www.wired.com
Election Science Institute, 2006, "DRE Analysis for May 2006 Primary Cuyahoga County, Ohio"
http://www.cuyahogacounty.us/bocc/GSC/pdf/esi_cuyahoga_final.pdf or see http://www.electionscience.org click on Cuyahoga County Report tab.
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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.
Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.
She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.
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