E-Voting News and Analysis, from the Experts

Wednesday November 17, 2004

Election Verification Project Press Conference Thursday 11/18 in DC

Filed under: — Joseph Lorenzo Hall @ 5:13 am PST

There will be an important press conference this Thursday in DC (“Election Verification Project Press Conference”). Here’s the skinny (from Kim at the CVF):

WHAT:

A national coalition of voting rights and computer security experts will hold a post-election press conference to provide a preliminary analysis of electronic voting problems and solutions, and their implications for increasing voters’ confidence in the legitimacy of elections.

WHO:

  • Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation
  • Lillie Coney, National Committee for Voting Integrity/Electronic Privacy Information Center
  • David Dill, Ph.D., Verified Voting Foundation
  • Will Doherty, Verified Voting Foundation/Election Incident Reporting System
  • Chellie Pingree, Common Cause
  • Matt Zimmerman, Electronic Frontier Foundation

WHEN:

Thursday, Nov. 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12 Noon

WHERE:

Cabinet Room
Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters (formerly Governor’s House Hotel)
1615 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.

(Metro Stop: Dupont Circle or Farragut North)

———-
The Election Verification Project is a coalition of technology, legal and voting rights organizations promoting transparency and accountability in the voting process. The Project advances reforms that reduce computerized voting risks, and fosters public confidence in the integrity and accuracy of the electoral process.

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  1. Press ReleaseSource: Lynn Landes

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/041119/phf021_1.html

    Coalition’s Support of Voting Machines Causes Confusion, says Journalist
    Lynn Landes
    Friday November 19, 11:58 am ET

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ – The situation was somewhat surreal. At
    yesterday’s press conference in The Governor’s House Hotel, representatives
    of the “Election Verification Project,” a coalition of technologists, voting
    rights and legal organizations, seemed strangely out of touch with reality
    and their own past concerns, as they promoted a plan that leaves voting
    machines firmly entrenched in the election process.

    Public doubt continues to grow over the 2004 election results. That doubt is
    rooted in suspicions surrounding the use of voting machines, suspicions that
    these very groups helped to cultivate.

    Contradictory claims abounded. Kim Alexander, of The California Voter
    Foundation, sang the praises of touchscreen machines, despite the mayhem she
    admits their use caused in this year’s election. “Problems were reported
    with all vendors and across most of the states that use e-voting. Electronic
    voting machines lost votes in North Carolina, miscounted votes in Ohio, and
    broke down in New Orleans, causing long lines and shutdowns at polling
    places,” she said.

    Alexander added to the confusion at the press conference when she boasted
    that “… there was no nationwide meltdown.” She didn’t appear to grasp what
    computer scientists, including Dr. David Dill who was standing right next to
    her, have been warning for years - that widespread vote fraud or system
    failure could easily occur and no one would ever know. Over 99% of all
    ballots were counted by machines: lever, computerized ballot scanners, or
    touchscreens. Poll watchers can stare at these machines all they want, but
    they’re not going to learn much.

    While acknowledging that voting rights organizations across the country are
    still receiving thousands of complaints about voting machine malfunctions
    and complete breakdown. Project members continued to promote the use of
    ballot printers and spot audits as an adequate solution to the problem. The
    group even published a manual for poll monitors that had the appearance of
    an industry Buyers Guide and included only minimal coverage of problems
    association with each type of equipment. Inexplicably, touchscreen voting
    machines with ballot printer attachments, although available, were not
    listed in the manual.

    In an interview with this journalist, Dr. Dill of The Verified Voting
    Foundation, admitted that when a voting machine malfunctions or breaks down,
    the ballot printer is pretty much useless. Adding to that bad news (at what
    was clearly meant to be an upbeat press conference), one speaker noted that
    voters who were given provisional ballots in cases of machine malfunction,
    may not have had their votes counted at all in this past election.

    According to their mission statement, the proposed reforms of the Election
    Verification Project are designed to increase transparency in the voting
    process from registration to tabulation, including: Federal and state
    legislation requiring a voter-verified paper record, mandatory national
    electronic voting standards, and routine auditing of computerized vote
    counts. However, observers note that all these proposals taken together do
    not add up to a transparent process in any meaningful way. This is a plan
    that leaves easily rigged and malfunctioning machines in the voting process,
    permits elections officials to control any audits, and denies citizens the
    right to have every vote counted at the local level.

    Whatever the goal of the press conference organizers, their message seemed
    to sow more confusion than offer a realistic solution for angry and
    suspicious voters.

    Other speakers included: Chellie Pingree, President of Common Cause; Lillie
    Coney of Electronic Privacy Information Center; Matt Zimmerman of Electronic
    Frontier Foundation; and Will Doherty of Verified Voting Foundation.

    Source: Lynn Landes

    Comment by Kat LEstrange — Sunday November 21, 2004 @ 1:41 am PST

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