Tuesday, September 19, 2006

PRESS RELEASE: Will the Court decertify Colorado's electronic voting equipment?

September 19, 2006

Will the Court decertify Colorado's electronic voting equipment? If so, election officials will need to develop an alternative for November’s elections.

It is widely suspected that Colorado’s voting equipment certification process is flawed. Equipment vendors are not being held to the same standard, and none of the electronic voting equipment certified for use in Colorado meets the requirement for anonymous ballots, paper audit trail, and the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements of the Help America Vote Act.

Experience with the equipment during the recent Primary Election seems to support the notion that it is not feasible to verify that votes recorded and counted on this equipment are secure, and accurately interpreted and counted.

Judge Manzanares will preside and rule on the matter. The hearing begins at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, Sept. 20 and continues on Sept. 21 in Courtroom 1 which is on the second floor of the Denver City and County Bldg.

Two of the leading voting machine experts are scheduled to testify on Wednesday – Doug Jones from the University of Iowa and Dan Wallach from Rice. In addition, the person responsible for certifying voting equipment, John Gardner, is to testify.

If the Court decides that the equipment must be decertified, the Secretary of State may have the authority to authorize “temporary use” of the decertified equipment for the November election.

The judge could forbid the Secretary of State from using electronic ballots but authorize her to use the equipment to prepare paper ballots for disabled voters. The votes on these paper ballots would be hand counted.

This case has attracted national attention.