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Maine's Sec. of State's E-mail on Voting with paper audit trails

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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:45 PM
Original message
Maine's Sec. of State's E-mail on Voting with paper audit trails
Thought this might be of interest to the BBV posters here on Maine's SoS, Dan Gwadosky's response to my e-mail about HAVA and our State's response to protecting our votes. Enjoy.

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Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding the integrity of Maine's elections and LD 1759 - An Act to Ensure the Accurate Counting of Votes.

As Maine's chief election official, I have been and remain committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections. To ensure this integrity, we must be vigilant to make certain our election practices and technologies are reliable, accessible and usable, accurate, and secure.

Recently, I have been working with the sponsor of LD 1759, Rep. Pingree, to craft an amendment that will make Maine's elections more accessible to individuals with disabilities, that will ensure the integrity of Maine's elections, and that will allow Maine to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act.

The federal law, enacted by Congress following the 2000 Presidential election, introduces a number of major election reform measures and makes funds available for states to implement the new requirements. Among its many provisions, the law requires all states to adopt voting systems that are "accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and
independence) as for other voters." States are specifically required to provide "at least one direct recording electronic voting system or other voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities at each polling place" by January 1, 2006.

The amended version of LD 1759 addresses Maine's compliance with this requirement. While some states have chosen to replace their entire voting systems with computerized equipment, Maine does not plan to do so. Most voters in Maine will continue to vote exactly as they do now, with a paper ballot that is counted either by hand or by an optical scan machine. This system will, however, need to be supplemented by the addition of one direct recording electronic voting system or other accessible system in compliance with federal law.

LD 1759, as amended, will prohibit both Internet voting and the networking of voting machines, and will require that all voting machines produce a paper audit trail. The paper trail must be voter-verifiable for any machines beyond those required for disability access. The legislation further requires that machines required for accessibility allow for audio verification to facilitate verification by voters with blindness or low vision.

Rather than rushing to embrace any specific type of equipment or technology, Maine will convene a group to carefully review the various voting systems available. This group will include people with disabilities, senior citizens, technology and security experts, election officials and others. Whatever technology is ultimately selected to improve accessibility will supplement, but not replace, our proven voting system.

Thank you again for offering input. Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State

-----Original Message-----
From: OAITW
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2004 7:40 PM
To: Office, SOS
Cc: bburt@commoncause.org
Subject: Paper Audit Trails on Voting Machines

Honorable Dan Gwadosky-

Please count me as a voting taxpayer who requests that Maine upgrade voting machines with auditable paper trails. Please support passage of LD 1759. If we can't believe our vote counts, what's the point?

Thank You.

Old
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Now that's the kind of reply we all should have received to our
letters, emails, phone calls, etc.

How can we get that kind of government in other states?
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chefgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. As a fellow Mainer
That is very good news!
Thanks for posting this. Seems almost every time I turn around, I'm impressed with our state government's ability to get it right... at least most of the time.
I have to re-register this year, and I was, frankly, very concerned about Maine possibly switching over to those f*n Diebold machines.
Thanks again! You made my day. :)

-chef-
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Your welcome!
Seems our State Government is getting more progressive as the Federal overnment gets more reactive.

For instance, the State's healthcare program could become model for the federal government when we take it back.
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