|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MAY 5, 2004
Aaron Toso, 303-292-1524
Matt Holland, 802-318-5206
Citizens, Election Officials, Experts Call for Verified Votes
WASHINGTON - May 5 - The Computer Ate My Vote, a national campaign to protect the integrity of American ballots came to Washington, DC today to tell federal election authorities that each ballot cast this November 2 must be backed by a voter-verified paper trail.
In testimony before the Election Assistance Commission, election officials and computer experts called for transparent, verifiable voting systems.
"There will be a paper trail for every single vote cast in California, and it will happen on my watch," California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley said. "I call on the federal government to move immediately on this issue as well." On April 30th Mr. Shelley decertified Diebold TSx voting machines and asked California's attorney general to open a criminal investigation into Diebold's practices.
"Today's fully electronic voting machines do not provide any way to audit the election, said Aviel Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University. In particular, if there is any controversy about the outcome, a recount is impossible. We would just have to live with the result." Rubin co-authored a seminal report on the security flaws in current electronic voting machines.
"We made every effort to work with election officials in Maryland," said Linda Schade of TureVoteMD.org, a grassroots group working to get a paper trail for their states elections. "The executive and legislative branches of state government failed to protect our right to a verifiable vote, so we are turning to the federal government, through the EAC and to the judicial system, with a lawsuit in Maryland's courts."
"TrueMajority has 465,000 members across America who want elections decided by citizens, not computer errors," said its president Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben&Jerrys Ice Cream. Since launching The Computer Ate My Vote campaign in Washington in February, TrueMajority members have sent 130,000 messages to their state election officials and legislators asking for voter-verified paper ballots. Nine states, including California, have taken steps to protect the integrity of their elections. The federal government needs to protect voters of every state by requiring paper trails for our elections, so audits and recounts can prove the results are fair, Cohen concluded.