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Voting update: News from the NASS Conference

By Kathy Dopp, National Election Data Archive  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)     Permalink
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The BEST NEWS from the Santa Fe, NM July 2006 NASS conference, were
the remarks by Governor Bill Richardson given at a luncheon.
Richardson recommended voter verifiable optical scan paper ballots and
audits. In fact NM SOS Rebecca Vigil-Giron plans to conduct an
independent audit of NM vote counts by hiring an outside accounting
firm to conduct the audit. New Mexico is leading the nation in
election integrity issues and has entirely dumped its DRE voting
systems after The National Election Data Archive (NEDA) and
VotersUnite showed how statistically suspicious the patterns of NM's
2004 electronic vote counts were.

New Mexico and Washington State were the only two states where
detailed November 2004 vote count data was obtained and analyzed, and
both states have since then significantly reduced or elimated the use
of DRE voting machines and improved their election systems due to the
statistical analysis of detailed data revealing likely vote tampering.

This experience in New Mexico and Washington proves that NEDA's plan
to create a public national election data archive for the detailed
unaggregated election results data will successfully help to improve
voting systems. Please help us complete it by making an urgently
needed donations at http://electionarchive.org.

Thank you so much to those who have donated to US Count Votes in the
past who have enabled us to accomplish what we have, although we have
yet to receive enough donations to hire a full-time staffer.

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Some additional good reporting of the NASS conference is available by
Warren Stewart on http://votetrustusa.org

Unfortunately the U.S. EAC seems to be putting most of its 'election
integrity' eggs in the basket of improving voting machine testing,
although any computer engineer knows that no amount of ITA or L&A
testing of machines would ensure election integrity:

"Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never
to show their absence."

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- E.W. Dijkstra, 1970 from http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/ewd/ewd02xx/ewd249.pdf

And of the 15 member U.S. Election Assistance Commission Technical
Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) only about 2 to 4 seem to have
credentials that make them competent to evaluate computerized voting
system standards such as degrees in computer science or engineering.
The National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) have used
their opportunity to appoint two TGDC members to appoint the same Paul
Craft and Britt Williams whose degrees are in hotel management,
accounting, and political science, but who have decades of experience
rubberstamping flawed voting systems, and who seem to have no problem
with secretly counting, faith-based, paperless electronic voting


I raised a big stink at the NASS conference by publicly asking if the
U.S. EAC plans to hire or appoint qualified people with degrees in
computer science and engineering to its TGDC.

Thank you to those who donated to make it possible for me to attend
and for NEDA to accomplish what we have so far. The donations did not
fully cover my travel and lodging so I drove and camped at nearby Hyde
Memorial NM state park which was only 7 miles away and beautiful.

Please, if you are working and have income, we need you to donate
$10/month to support the work of those of us at NEDA, like Ron Baiman
and myself, who have dedicated ourselves to doing volunteer work on
elections, and sacrificed our income to do it. We cannot be ready for
the upcoming November election without more financial support. Please
donate just $10/month, or give a one-time $50 donation. You can
donate using a credit card or PayPal at http://electionarchive.org, or
mail a check to: US Count Votes, P.O.Box 682556, Park City, UT 84068

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We need both your financial and volunteer help. A competent volunteer
is needed to work for NEDA in Park City, Utah, living space available.
Thank you.

Ron Baiman, NEDA's Vice President, says that donations are needed
immediately in order to obtain Ohio's ballot and voting records before
they are due to be thrown out on September 3rd. Ron Baiman's recent
investigative work in Ohio is uncovering evidence of paper optical
scan ballot manipulation and counts that don't add up in the Ohio
counties that showed the strange voting patterns in relation to
another candidate. These records need to be preserved and
investigated, but donations are needed to pay for the labor so that
Ron and others can devote all of August to finding organizations like
Ohio universities to accept responsibility for publicly maintaining
the paper records of the 2004 election before they are destroyed.

Donations would facilitate quick completion of our new joint
scientific vote count audit paper that NEDA members are working on
with the Open Voting Consortium members to explain how to calculate
vote count audit percentages that would detect any outcome-altering
vote miscount in any election to any desired probability, given the
margins between candidates. Your financial support would reduce the
time this project takes to complete. Over a year ago, NEDA led the
way by recommending vote count audits, and following our lead, the
Carter-Baker commission, the US Government Accountability Office, US
League of Women Voters, Verified Voting, the Brennan Center, and
project ACCURATE now are all recommending routine vote count audits.
Now that everyone agrees with NEDA that audits are needed, this is the
time to create the best vote count audit standards that will truly
ensure accurate outcomes.

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