Tuesday, December 12, 2006

election crimes new definition

Agency Toughen Voting Security Program
AP Dec. 7, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's top election oversight board approved guidelines for electronic voting machines, putting in place the first federal standards but stopping short of requiring states to follow them.

The Election Assistance Commission said the 68-page manual offers standards for equipment and software, offering states the option of having the congressionally created commission oversee the process instead of relying on statehouse-mandated inspections.

"Ultimately, it brings accountability to the system," said Gavin Gilmour, the commission's deputy counsel. "This is a voluntary program, but I would hope as many states as possible participate."

Currently, about 40 states require machine certification, according to the commission.

The group also accepted a new definition of "election crimes" and commissioned the first government-sponsored national study on the subject.

Election crimes have been defined as actions that allow ineligible persons to vote, eligible voters to be excluded or other similar interference. The new definition says such crimes generally involve deceptions, coercion, damage or inaction.


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