Saturday, April 24, 2004

Time for Action - Al to John Saturday, April 24, 2004 9:51 AM

Ah, yes, November. A little dose of reality.

One way might be to create emergency legislation that establishes special rules for the 2004 election year only;

1. Require full-ballot-text paper ballots for all voting.

2. Disallow DRE voting equipment (that which records ballots electronically). They are not voter verifiable and should not be used.

3. Qualify and purchase a small number of "paper ballot vote marking devices" (VMD) and deploy them in "super precincts" for disabled voters. This is not the final solution, but it does provide private, verifiable voting to the disabled voter.

4. Utilize the existing absentee ballot counting system to count the votes on all ballots. Verify the counts by requiring sample hand counts to check that the counting process is accurate. The samples should include verification that the interpretation of votes on the ballots is correct. Persons performing the samples, and any recounts, should not know the previous results.

There will be resistance to this approach from the press, who wants to give their audience instant results, and the election officials who don't like to risk looking bad. In my opinion, a trustworthy election is the goal and anything that gets in the way of a trustworthy election should be ignored.

I believe it was the Governor of New Hampshire who said something to the effect; it is far less costly to do what it takes to deliver a trustworthy election than it will cost to restore voter trust once it is lost.

The people will not tolerate a questionable election result.