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E-voting reform in the U.S.: progress report & ten things elections officials can do to secure the vote this November

August 26 , 2004

Hi Folks,

The November election is fast approaching, and all over the country people are wondering if the results produced by paperless, electronic voting machines will be reliable.

This issue of CVF-NEWS provides a progress report on states that are improving election security, and suggests ten ways election officials across the nation can act now secure the vote this November.

The good news is that many jurisdictions have chosen to stick with paper voting systems rather than purchasing e-voting machines. After the 2000 election, many were predicting that by now half the nation would be voting on paperless e-voting machines. Instead, the rate is about 25 percent. The majority of election officials have stuck with transparent and verifiable voting systems. Several have demonstrated strong leadership to advance voting system security:

The bad news is that paperless, electronic voting systems will be used in many jurisdictions throughout the country, including in several key Presidential election "swing states", such as Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, New Mexico, Louisiana and Tennessee.

There have been a number of recommendations made in recent weeks to improve election security in advance of the November election. The Election Assistance Commission issued a "Best Practices" toolkit. The Brennan Center for Justice and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights also recently issued a report proposing numerous reforms to improve election security.

The California Voter Foundation has a new set of recommendations to add to the mix. “Ten Things Election Officials Can Do To Secure The Vote This November” is a new CVF publication. These ten steps, while no replacement for the voter-verified paper trail, will, if implemented help reduce real and perceived paperless e-voting risks.

-- Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation

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This page was first published on August 26 , 2004 | Last updated on December 9, 2004
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