We actually like the idea of touch screens and other voter-interfaces that provide private voting to the disabled, eliminate over votes, warn voters of under votes (and potentially offer an explicit "under vote" choice), and increase the rate of accurate interpretation of the votes.
We believe that the record produced by the system must be the ONLY record of vote, and that the voter must be able to VERIFY that the official record of votes records the votes that the voter intends, AFTER the votes are recorded and BEFORE the votes are cast. If the voter does not like what is recorded on the permanent record, they must be permitted to exchange the record for a new opportunity to vote.
There are additional requirements, but I shan't go into them here. Architectures such as that offered by the Vogue Election Systems' AUTOMARK illustrate the type of VOTE-RECORDING system I described.
I guess it is fair to say that the some bill may not intend to deceive the voter -- but none-the-less that is what they would do. In my opinion it is quite cynical to ceremoniously present the voter with a summary of what the voter intended, ask the voter to carefully check that the paper correctly records what the voter intends, and NOT USE that verified record to determine the election result. Instead the system will proceed to determine the election results from a different record that initially or subsequently contains votes other than those the voter intended. If there is any doubt that this can and has and will happen, and is unstoppable, we should confer further.
Colorado law regarding "recount" has been modified by HB04-1227. I have inserted the revisions into the statute to produce the "new" law and pasted it below. Paragraphs 1.10.5-110(1)(b), (3) and (4) were revised. As you can see in (3) the law now permits a recount of votes cast using either "electronic ballot images" or "permanent paper records".
NOTE-1: While the term "ballot image" is defined, the term "permanent paper record" is not defined. However it is required in order to pass certification according to a new section including:
(p) SAVES AND PRODUCES THE RECORDS NECESSARY TO AUDIT THE OPERATION OF THE ELECTRONIC OR ELECTROMECHANICAL VOTING SYSTEM, INCLUDING A PERMANENT PAPER RECORD WITH A MANUAL AUDIT CAPACITY.
(2) THE PERMANENT PAPER RECORD PRODUCED BY THE ELECTRONIC OR ELECTROMECHANICAL VOTING SYSTEM SHALL BE AVAILABLE AS AN OFFICIAL RECORD FOR ANY RECOUNT CONDUCTED FOR ANY ELECTION IN WHICH THE SYSTEM WAS USED.
NOTE-2: The Secretary of State shall decide which method is used. It can easily be proven that counting of paper ballots can be inaccurate, the SOS is on record as disliking the recount of the permanent paper records, and it is many times more expensive to count votes on permanent paper records than on electronic ballot images. Additionally, it is impossible to prove that the count of votes recorded on electronic records does not reflect the voter's intent. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the votes on the permanent paper records will ever be counted. (Past experience has shown that the SOS will not release these records for independent assessment.)
NOTE-3: To achieve privacy, there is a requirement to randomize the ballot images. This makes it impossible to prove that any voter's votes are INCORRECTLY recorded.
There are numerous additional problems, and you are absolutely correct when you say, "VVPBs are insignificant in CO unless they are the first line of count." Your reason (the recount law) is not correct, but the new statutes are a sham -- another intention to deceive voters into the belief that their vote will be counted as they intend.
When you mention the form of the verified ballot, we believe that the voter should use the same ballot whether they hand mark or machine mark the votes on their ballot. Every ballot must contain the full ballot text so that when the voter verifies their vote, they know what they are verifying -- rather than a shorthand "AMENDMENT 28 YES".
The problem with a two ballot system is that the ballot that is counted controls. Fraud and errors that creep into this ballot decide the election. In almost all cases the "other ballot" will not be counted. Intuitively I dislike the two ballot approach because I fear that elections will be thrown to the courts to decide whether the candidate that won the electronic ballot vote or the candidate that won the paper ballot vote is the winner. This cannot help but cause bad feelings and DISTRUST of our election system. And, if one race comes out different, then all races become suspect, and even all elections that use (or have used) the vendor's equipment.
It's not worth the risk to go paperless. It's not worth the risk to go dual-ballot.
Colorado Statute as revised by HB 1227
1-10.5-110. Procedures for recount on direct recording electronic voting equipment.
(1) Any recount procedure for votes cast on direct record electronic voting machines adopted by a designated election official shall:
(a) Be submitted in writing to the secretary of state; and
(b) Provide for a recount of votes cast on such voting machine as prescribed by this section.
(2) A recount of votes cast on direct record electronic voting machines shall include early voting, election day voting, and election day emergency voting. The designated election official shall produce a recount report that shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(a) A summary of the recount results;
(b) Political subdivision recount results; and
(c) Precinct recount results.
(3) A RECOUNT of votes cast on direct record electronic voting machines shall be conducted using electronic ballot images OR PERMANENT PAPER RECORDS. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL DECIDE WHICH METHOD OF RECOUNT IS USED IN EACH CASE, BASED ON THE SECRETARY'S DETERMINATION OF WHICH METHOD WILL ENSURE THE MOST ACCURATE COUNT, SUBJECT TO JUDICIAL REVIEW FOR ABUSE OF DISCRETION. As used in this section, "ballot image" means a record of each vote cast by a voter that is stored on a removable memory device contained in such voting machine. All ballot images shall be randomized in such voting machine to assure voter anonymity.
(4) All recounts of votes cast on direct record electronic voting machines shall retabulate vote totals from individual ballot images OR PERMANENT PAPER RECORDS. Tabulating incremented or summary vote totals from individual direct record electronic voting machines shall not constitute a recount for purposes of compliance with this section.
(5) Before any recount of votes cast on direct record electronic voting machines, the designated election official shall store or record all previous preelection, official election, or postelection tabulations of votes cast on such voting machine on an external device such as a diskette, tape, or compact disc.
(6) No tabulation system software utilized by a designated election official to perform a recount of votes cast on a direct record electronic voting machine shall delete any previously tabulated results from such voting machine, including preelection, official election, or postelection tabulations of votes cast, in order to perform the recount.
(7) If the retabulation of ballot images from a removable memory device is impossible due to destruction, loss, or any other reason, the audit trail from the direct record electronic voting machine from which such device was removed shall be copied to a new transfer device and the ballot images shall then be recounted by the tabulation system software.
(8) After all of the ballot images from all of the removable memory devices used in the election have been retabulated by the tabulation system software, the designated election official shall produce the recount reports described in subsection (2) of this section to determine if the recount results and official election results match.