Sunday, September 17, 2006


A Rocky Mountain News story, Suit: Ban computer voting, reports that Colorado Deputy Attorney General Maurice Knaizer says that Colorado is protected against tampering because state law now requires a printout of each computer ballot. And that, the printout can be reviewed by the voter and is kept at the machine for post-election audits and recounts.

This is a false assurance.

1. Electronic voting machines were justified and forced upon the public primarily on their supposed ability to offer disabled voters the opportunity to vote in private. The technology chosen by the Secretary of State cannot be used by blind voters to verify that their votes are correctly recorded. Other technology, such as the AutoMark can. The Secretary of State has forbidden use of the AutoMark.

2. The post-election audit procedure defined by the Secretary of State does not work. It is statistically meaningless. It cannot detect inaccurate or fraudulent votes within a predetermined level of accuracy. (It cannot be used to predict, for example, “For the Governor of Colorado Contest, it is 99.95 percent certain that there are less than 2 incorrect votes per 10,000 votes recorded.)

3. The printout created at the time a voter casts their ballot does not protect voters. The printout could potentially be used to conduct a full manual recount to catch inaccurate or fraudulent vote counting, but this will almost never happen. Because the printout is on a continuous roll, like a cash register tape, it is extremely difficult and very expensive to accurately hand count the votes. Consequently, the Secretary of State rarely authorizes a recount, clerks try to block recounts, and candidates almost always find it too expensive to pay for them.
The continued assurance by government officials that the paper printout protects Colorado voters from inaccurate and fraudulent vote counting is nothing more than a reckless attempt to deceive voters into believing that their votes are secure when in fact they are not.

Officials making this statement must be held accountable for their reckless claim.