Thursday, January 19, 2006

Colorado plots to block paper ballots

When vote marking devices record votes on paper rather than digital ballots, elections can be verified. One of these paper ballot vote markers is the AutoMARK.

Colorado's Secretary of State has been working to block adoption of the AutoMARK. Why?

Call for certification

The AutoMARK is already certified by the Federal government and by most of the following 20 states: CA, WA, OR, NM, AZ, MT, WY, ND, SD, KS, NE, TX, MN, IA, MO, AL, IL, OH, FL, WV. More states are pending.

The Secretary of State has refused certification of the AutoMARK claiming that a blind voter might require assistance. This is Colorado's trumped up excuse not a reason for refusing to certify the device.

The federal government and 20 states are satisfied with the AutoMARK. Disabled voters who have used the equipment are satisfied. Every device certified for use by disabled voters will encounter some circumstance where the voter might require assistance.

Colorado should come clean. Certify the AutoMARK if it is secure, accurate, verifiable and transparent.

Call for competition

Colorado has disallowed competition between paper and digital ballots. The Secretary of State excluded paper ballot vote marking equipment from the state's omnibus RFP for voting equipment. The requirements are anti-paper ballot. State has discouraged the vendor, ES&S, from responding to the RFP.

There is no room in Colorado for anti-competition in our choice of voting systems. Voting systems must be judged on whether they are the most secure, accurate, verifiable, and transparent.