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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-09 01:46 AM
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Ideas For Change in America
Sheila Parks

Hand-Counted Paper Ballots for All Our Elections on Election Night

The right to vote, as well as the principle of "one person, one vote," are cornerstones of our democracy. The anti-slavery, womens suffrage, and civil rights movements as well as the expansion of voting to young people are all part of the history of electoral reform in this country. Equally fundamental is the assurance that each voter knows that her or his vote counts and is counted as intended.

Hand-counted paper ballots elections with a secure chain of custody are a solution to the fraud and error of electronic voting machines (both touchscreens/DREs and optical scans) and the control of our elections by a privatized electronic voting machine industry. Both touchscreens/DRE's and optical scan machines have been hacked.

It is recommended that an HCPB protocol have the following characteristics: a) Ballots counted at the precinct by registered voters b) Counting done in full view of the public c) Counting videotaped d) Results posted at the precinct immediately after the count e) To be manageable, precincts no larger than 1000 registered voters. (Because the concept of HCPB operates at the precinct level, even large communities can adopt such a system.) The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) paid states hundreds of millions of dollars to buy electronic voting machines, both DRES and/or op scans. One machine can cost anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 and that amount does not include storing, maintenance, and upgrade. In contrast, for an HCPB election, the cost for the counting could be $2400.00 per precinct for each election, with ten teams of two workers each and paying each worker $20/hour for six hours ($120) and would keep the money in the community.

If hundreds of millions of dollars had not been spent for the purchase, storage and upgrade of electronic voting machines, imagine the money our communities could have used for health care and education.

Sheila Parks (activist/feminist/researcher), Belmont, MA Dec 30 @ 08:51PM PST

http://www.change.org/ideas/view/hand-counted_paper_bal...
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