Friday, January 28, 2005

We're Making Progress

Black Box Voting has activities planned in Ohio, Florida, and California.

Black Box Voting is focusing on two main areas in 2005:

“Activating the Eagles” -- Activating and empowering at least 1,000 new leaders, to apply a swarm of actions in many different ways to election integrity. Black Box Voting investigators and board members are traveling, at our own expense, to local citizens and groups who have shown leadership by taking independent, creative, and effective actions to take back transparency and accountability in elections. The focus of these visits is to conduct training sessions on how to investigate, how to audit, how to lead, to recognize local leaders, and to raise funds for local voting integrity groups.

“Help America Audit” -- Creating an open source auditing program to bring citizen intellectual talent from all over the world into analyzing real election data in live time. The open source-auditing program is forming in the “Help America Audit” workspace at the Black Box Voting forums.

The Brad Blog is reporting: Dodd and Conyers Introduce Comprehensive Election Reform Legislation.

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Ranking Member on the Senate Rules Committee, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr, (D-MI), Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced that they will be working together in seeking changes to our nation’s elections system this Congress. Dodd introduced S. 17, the Voting Opportunity and Technology Enhancement Rights Act of 2005 (“VOTER Act”) Monday, and Conyers will introduce a House companion version based in significant part on the Senate bill shortly.

Among other things, their legislation will provide for a nationwide federal write in/absentee ballot; require states to provide for a voter verified ballot; insure that provisional ballots cast anywhere in a state are counted; eliminate disparities in the allocation of voting machines and poll workers; mandate early voting and election day registration procedures; and protect against improper purging of registration lists in federal elections.

Speaking of Saint Conyers, he is asking the FBI to investigate charges of ballot tampering in Ohio: Congressman to call on FBI to investigate ballot tampering allegations. Although he has been rebuked, he is not giving up. Here is the letter he sent today.

And this is interesting:
Diebold Announces Paper Trail for Voters. This sounds too good to be true, but hey... The article states:

Diebold Election Systems, a target of many electronic-voting critics during the 2004 US election, announced today that it has completed the design for a printer that would give its e-voting machines a paper trail.

IDG News Service reported Diebold's printer, submitted for federal government approval, would create a so-called voter-verified paper trail, a function that many critics have demanded of e-voting machine manufacturers. A machine with a voter-verified paper-trail printer allows voters to review their votes on a printout after using an electronic ballot, and advocates of such printers say they would allow voters to be confident that e-voting machines recorded their votes correctly. It also provides a paper trail for a recount.

The company's decision comes in large part because of state requirements for paper-trail ballots, said David Bear, a Diebold spokesman. Nevada used e-voting machines with paper-trail capabilities in the November U.S. election, and California and Ohio have joined Nevada in requiring e-voting machine printers in future elections. Voter-verified paper trails would virtually eliminate machine error in which votes aren't counted, said Will Doherty, executive director of Verified Voting Foundation Inc. In the November 2004 election, one county in North Carolina lost more than 4,500 votes when there was a misunderstanding over the capacity of the e-voting machines used there.

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