SANTA FE, New Mexico - July 13 -
Common Cause joined Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) and other advocacy groups on Wednesday to urge a large gathering of the nation's election administrators to assure that their state voting systems are secure and reliable. Richardson and Barbara Burt, a Common Cause vice president and director of election programs, urged the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), meeting in Santa Fe this week, to take steps to ensure that voting systems in their states produce voter-verifiable paper records subject to mandatory random routine audit.
Common Cause warns that the electronic voting systems used in most states are vulnerable to computer hacking and to malfunction. But the threat can be mitigated if voting systems produce a voter-verifiable paper record that is audited, Burt said. In June, Common Cause released a report, Malfunction and Malfeasance: A Report on the Electronic Voting Machine Debacle," which found that 37 states were at risk of having compromised elections because their voting systems fail to produce voter-verifiable paper records subject to routine audit.
During the 2006 legislative session, Gov. Richardson led the state legislature in passing a law requiring that voting systems in New Mexico produce voter-verifiable paper records and mandating that these records be subject to audit.
"I never want an American to leave a polling place again wondering if his or her vote will count," Gov. Richardson said today. "The hallmark of American democracy is one person, one vote. I strongly believe that the best way to make sure these votes count is to switch to one statewide paper ballot system as we have done in New Mexico. Common Cause has been a great ally in this fight."
"We strongly urge the secretaries of state here in New Mexico to follow the leadership of Gov. Richardson and the state of New Mexico by requiring that voting systems produce voter-verifiable paper records subject to routine audits," said Barbara Burt, director of election programs for Common Cause.