Thursday, November 18, 2004

statement of US election verification project

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 -- For eight months, the Election Verification Project, a national coalition of technologists, voting rights and legal organizations, has worked to raise public awareness of the need to reduce computerized voting risks, and ensure that votes will be recorded and counted as cast.

On November 2 more voters cast paperless ballots than ever before in a U.S. election: roughly 30 percent compared to 12 percent four years ago. The Election Verification Project is not questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election results. Instead, we are questioning a voting process in which 30 percent of the ballots cannot be verified and, of the remaining 70 percent, most will not be verified.

While there was no nationwide meltdown, the election was far from error-free. Our preliminary analysis of nearly 900 reports of e-voting irregularities, gathered by the Election Incident Reporting System, indicates that electronic voting machines need much improvement. Problems were reported with all vendors and across most of the states that use e-voting. Electronic voting machines lost votes in North Carolina, miscounted votes in Ohio, and broke down in New Orleans, causing long lines and shut-downs at polling places.

The documented problems with touchscreen machines, vote-counting irregularities, and the fact that votes cannot be verified or recounted show us how vulnerable our democracy will be in the future if there is a disputed or unclear result.

from CalVoter.org - November 18, 2004
Statement of Election Verification Project
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