We are preparing a press release announcing the groups who are calling for paper ballots and other essential election protection measures for the November 2004 election and beyond. If your group agrees with the statements below and would like to be included in the press release, please email us your endorsement.
- The "central finding" of a 2001 CalTech/MIT study was that, of all voting systems used in the United States, hand counted paper ballots have the lowest average incidence of spoiled, uncounted, and unmarked ballots.
- Errors in the software, firmware, and election-specific ballot programming of both paperless electronic voting machines (DREs) and optical scan tabulation machines have caused hundreds of election problems in recent years, including high levels of uncounted and unmarked ballots. It is unreasonable to believe that all such errors have been detected.
- Manual recounts of optical-scan ballots have overturned initial, inaccurate machine results in many such cases. It is only reasonable to believe that the outcomes of many other elections (both DRE and optical scan) have been inaccurate, and the inaccuracies were not detected.
- Computer-counting errors have a much greater potential impact than hand-counting errors.
- The electronic voting systems used in the United States, both optical scan and DRE, have severe and unresolved security and accuracy flaws that are not being remedied by election procedures.
- While we advocate the use of computers to assist people in marking their ballots, computers cannot count those ballots reliably.
Therefore, in order to protect the accuracy of our election outcomes, we demand the following:
- All ballots shall be paper ballots and hand counted.
- Every voting system using automated or electronic means of recording and/or counting votes shall provide a paper ballot whose accuracy can be verified by the voter, and that paper ballot shall be the legal ballot used for the official canvass, audit, recount, and final record.
- Ballot counts shall be done by precinct with public oversight.
- Ballot-count results shall be made public immediately at each precinct.
- Media outlets shall wait until all polling places close before reporting any election results or outcome predictions.