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For Immediate Release, Friday, April 23, 2004
Contact: Rachel Zenner
(530) 750-7650, or

CVF President Kim Alexander Receives EFF Pioneer Award

Davis, CA -- The California Voter Foundation's President and Founder, Kim Alexander, was awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) prestigious Pioneer Award at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference last night at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California.

Alexander and computer scientists David Dill and Aviel Rubin were honored for their pioneering work spearheading and nurturing a popular movement for integrity and transparency in modern elections.

Alexander gave the following remarks upon receiving her award:

“Thank you for this honor. I am particularly honored to share this award with David Dill and Avi Rubin, two men who I deeply admire and who have greatly influenced the public's understanding of the need to address computerized voting risks.

I want to share something with you that may sound familiar:

'An extra bias routine could be added to the vote-counting program that would have certain characteristics to make it undetectable by the official "logic and accuracy" test. This routine could be arranged so as not to go into effect until a larger number of ballots had been counted than were in the logic and accuracy test sample, or could be prevented from being operative during the test and be activated by a computer operator only for the official count.'

It sounds like something Dave Dill, or Avi Rubin or David Jefferson, or Rebecca Mercuri or any number of computer scientists might have said in the past year or two. But it dates back to 1970, when computer experts first sounded the alarm over computerized vote counting risks.

When I first read this passage in a 1975 study by Roy Saltman, I had a sinking feeling. People have been warning of the potential to accidentally or deliberately alter election results through computer software for decades, ever since we started using software to count punch card ballots in the 1960's.

This is not a new problem. It's an old problem that never got solved. But I'm optimistic we will solve it. And the reason is because we have the tools to do so. We have the Internet. We have the ability to share information, to connect with each other, and to make a public problem so apparent that it can no longer be ignored.

The history of this country has been one long struggle for freedom. It continues today through the efforts being made by thousands of people across this country who are working to ensure we have voting systems which produce results which can be verified.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation established the Pioneer Awards to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. Previous recipients of the award include Tim Berners-Lee, Linus Torvalds and Vinton Cerf.

The California Voter Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advancing the responsible use of technology to improve democracy. More information about the California Voter Foundation is available at

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