Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Election Integrity Radio Talk

Listened to the program. Was turned off only when a caller posed that paper ballots should be hand-counted. Believe me, none of these counties pollworkers want to go back to hand-counting. Plus, there is no notification of over-votes unless you run the paper ballot through a scanner. Look what happened in New Hampshire. The machines provided the correct count and the officials made errors which would have gone un-noticed if there had not been a Kucinich request for a state-wide recount. We have yet to hear how the Republican recount is going.

Voice of the Voters

Discussing the new Holt bill H.B. 3056

Susan talking about New Hampshire, wondering whether the election isn't run by organized crime. Look at Bev Harris website Black Box Voting, monitoring the chain of custody by video... mnetions her organization's website

Next Harvey Brankston report on Colorado elections. Court case conroy vs dennis proves voting machines not properly tested, was a decertification... HB 1165 reconsider decercification... amendment proposed sunset clause... machines may be used into the future if the amendment doesn't pass

Jason Osgood state of Washington report on King County...

Jeremy Epstein

PA Madeline Rawley mentions Jan. 8 NYTimes cover voting booth exploding... next eruption of voting machine scandal Pennsylvania, at first the writer was talking about Central County, with the ivotronics... cannot do a recount without a voter paper marked ballot...

not able to wake anybody else up. Legislation has gone absolutely nowhere in PA...

PA reports Alan Brau discussed Northampton County

Marian Schneider discussed 3 counties in Pennsylvania where WinVote decertified, purchasing replacements, injunction sought by group prevent purchase paperless DREs...

Ohio Paddy Shaffer discussed Project Everest and more

Next guest Alysoun McLaughlin of the National Association of Counties

election officials walking on eggshells trying to do difficult job since Presidential election 2000... need to break down the walls more and work through issues where people disagree and focus on both those who run elections and those on outside are struggling...

Seriously, what did McLaughlin say there? Nothing...

What are some of biggest issues need to work out?

All of the issues they highlighted are issues county officials are right in middle of, not properly certified... worried equipment not ready for prime time... high tech options pushed... pressure report on election night... no time do audit after the election... election officials in firing line of trying to do what is forced onto them...

She needs to stay away from speaking about particular situations and relationships. Have dialogue. Among the people who have the biggest frustrations, not hearing of good working relationships. Situations where concerns about technology is changing.

Concerns county officials have are the mandates that came out of the Help America Vote Act. Required those standards be issued Jan. 2006. Worked to get deadlines pushed back with other election integrity orgs, weren't successful, still in same situation. The process to develop voting standards really hasn't happened yet, they're in draft form.

Asked about her position on DREs (paperless)

NACO agnostic on voting equipment and procedures, leave those decisions up to local jurisdictions. There ought to be federal standards, testing and certification before counties are forced into these.

Voice of Voter: Study after study showing both types are fatally flawed, the DREs are much more flawed and not ready for prime time.

What we haven't had are good studies that show the systems that do work, says NACO's Alysoun... there's no voting system you could buy where some advocacy group isn't objecting.

Voice of Voter: concerned, of the opinion DREs have to be removed.

NACO advantages to DREs and then if you have the paper ballot vulnerabilities there being destroyed, ruined, you have that backup too. Both have vulnerabilities. Easier to get to the paper ballot than it is to get to the electronic record, says Alysoun.

Voice of Voter: What's position on Holt Bill

NACO work with that bill, the most efficient way is to have demo grants and get the money out there before you begin mandating. Neutral on what technologies counties should buy. Questions from counties about the resources. Lot of jurisdictions would opt in if they knew the money were coming.

Richard King: hoping can interest her to write a letter to congressional committees given job of reviewing 5036 and urging committees to move forward to getting that out of committee because there are counties that would opt to have the paper ballots and audits for November Presidential election. Is it possible for NACO to write a letter to move that out of committees.

Voice of Voters 5036 is critical.

Ellen: wondering if any counties, small counties, are considering possibility of going back to hand-counting paper ballots rather than using technology at all?

Kathy Dobb asks about HR 5036

NACO: working with the committee and on HR 811 unfunded mandate and requires technology not available around the country.

Ian Sancho Florida: record turnout, more votes tallied for presidential candidates than before. Concern is can NACO suggest affirmative changes to this process they would like to see in the counties. There's a stalmate currently and nothing is going to happen at the national level. There are no perfect voting systems out there, but status quo out there Americans are going to lose credibility... corrosive effect on voters.

NACO agrees fully the situation unacceptable. So much money rushing into implementation of technology without the certifications. do more to id the practices that work well across the country. Lobbies on policies and votes the members take. Careful about choosing one technology over another. It's about the federal process, getting the money out there, but providing the service free of charge for the federal government for 200 years.

Sancho gave some details about Florida unsure what he said.

Victoria concerns allow DREs with VVPATs

NACO members in Ohio want to apply for the money.

Voice of Voters Holt bill doesn't apply to acquiring VVPATs for DREs.

John Gideon: news articles in Florida problems in primary noticed Volusia County would have to recount ballots from early voting where they'd counted 4 less ballots than voters signed in to vote. An advisory sent out by Premier that there was a problem with the machines and told the counties what to do. Got a copy of that advisory. Susan got a copy of it. Only sent to Florida counties. Also used in Northeast and Illinois. Call to find if anyone else had seen this advisory. Nobody else has seen this advisory except florida counties. Voters United has concerns with EAC to serve as national clearinghouse, they should be putting out this info to election officials in all counties.

Resource: Early Vote Discrepancy Prompts Recount; Ballots Manually Refed POSTED: 12:20 pm EST January 29, 2008 UPDATED: 12:44 pm EST January 29, 2008

NACO response: broad agreement between county commissioners and supervisors and election integrity movement - not enough the EAC is doing. When county commissioner or election official sees that they ask the same questions you ask. Direction to make more info available and elected feel the same.

Jim Strait: what about a paper based system standardized

NACO: Optical scan format pretty good format building things that work is a good idea. First caution against standarization it doesn't work in a lot of places. Mentions the automark works for some but some have had complaints. Her approach is to build a menu of systems that works and have different choices.

Bucks County Commissioner Diane what is going to happen PA is going to be an integral part in election a swing state and in roll present the country with making sure every vote is counted. Bucks uses Danaher which has been decertified, wants a system with a paper verified with the optical scan.

Voice of Voters: HR 5036 will replace with optical scan and paper ballots.

Diane fellow commissioners considering whether will sign a letter to support that bill. She is supportive of it.

Voice of Voter: Who owns electec?

Voice of the Voters! hosted by Mary Ann Gould, with John Gideon reporting on the week's top voting news stories.

Jan. 30: 2-Hour Voice of the Voters Special, 7-9 PM EST. First, reports from across the country, including Susan Pynchon of the Florida Fair Elections Coalition, Paddy Shaffer of the Ohio Election Justice Campaign, Brad Friedman of the, and John Gideon of Voters Unite.

Hour 2: Alysoun McLaughlin of the National Association of Counties and Diane Marseglia, newly elected Bucks County Commissioner.

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