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For Immediate Release, Thursday, May 4, 2006
Contact: Kim Alexander or
Saskia Mills, 530 750-7650


40,000 paperless e-voting machines replaced or upgraded for June primary

Davis, CA -- All 58 California counties are on track to deploy new or upgraded voting equipment that guarantees every ballot cast will be backed up on paper that voters can verify before leaving the polls. Fourteen counties acquired over 40,000 electronic voting machines in recent years, all of which are being replaced or retrofitted with printers in time for the June election, making California the first state in the nation to reform its electronic voting systems after widespread deployment of paperless e-voting machines.

The June 2006 primary marks the first election in which a California paper trail law, unanimously enacted by the legislature in 2004, takes effect. California was one of the first states in the nation to mandate voter-verified paper audit trails for electronic voting machines, which is now required in more than half the states.

"California's June primary ushers in a new era of accountability and transparancy in state elections," said Kim Alexander, president and founder of the California Voter Foundation (CVF), a nonprofit organization advancing the responsible use of technology in the democratic process. CVF recently surveyed all 58 counties about their voting equipment plans for June, and has published a new County-by-County Directory and Statewide Map of Voting Systems on its web site, at

Most of the 14 counties that have used paperless e-voting machines in past elections are retrofitting their existing equipment with printers that can produce a paper record which voters can verify. Several counties, including Plumas, Merced and Alameda, are setting aside their e-voting machines for the June primary and relying on paper balloting systems instead.

Overall, 37 counties, home to two-thirds of California's registered voters, will use paper ballots at the polls, while voters in 21 counties will cast electronic ballots on voting machines that produce a paper record of the ballot which voters can verify before leaving the polls. The June election will also mark the first time that California's long-standing law requiring a public manual count of ballots in one percent of a county's precincts to verify vote counts will be fully implemented in electronic voting counties.

The California Voter Foundation has been a strong supporter of the paper trail requirement for several years, because it ensures that voters can verify that their own ballots are properly recorded, and also gives election officials the independent audit trails they need in order to verify that the final vote count is accurate. "Election officials rely on proprietary software produced by private companies to count the votes," Alexander explained. "The voter verified paper trail requirement ensures that election officials have a meaningful, independent audit trail to use when they publicly verify the vote."

CVF's updated County-by-County Directory of Voting Systems identifies the voting equipment and vendor each county will use at polling places in June, as well as for absentee and accessible voting. More information about CVF is available at


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This page was first published on May 4, 2006 | Last updated on June 2, 2006
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