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« Drawing on the web | Main | Pro-life »

Aug 16, 2008


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I am still trying to figure out why it is so hard to have a paper trail for the voters.


As we know voter fraud is not the issue ,ELECTION fraud is a major concern

Joyce McCloy

Ed, good to see you keeping up with the voting issue. Election officials are hesitant to say that they fear meltdowns and problems - its not good for their job security.

There is a penchant for experimentation in our state, and a bit too much trust in these voting machines.

The assumption is that computers are always better than manual methods.

In 2005 we urged (unsuccessfully) lawmakers not to allow touchscreens again. So then we launched a 100 county effort to get BoEs/County Commissioners to choose optical scan.

The "paper trails" developed for touch screen machines are of very poor quality. - Guilford County's BoE reported a 9% failure of the printers in 2006. More about the problem with touchscreens and mitigation of printer failures here at

Luckily about 80 of our 100 counties chose optical scanners, Wake being one. Still,when we have a close contest like with Kissel/Hayes in 2006, when the recount hits a touchscreen county like Mecklenburg, its futile to bother.

I am not as worried about hacking as I am worried about flat out simple ballot programming errors or transmission of data errors.

Paper or Plastic?

Here's the list of states that have paper and those that don't.
The short answer:
100% paperless statewide: DE, LA, SC, GA, NY, NJ, MD, TN
Mostly or partially paperless: PA, IN, KY, KS, TX and VA

We have some states that have paper requirements that haven't gone into effect.
What equipment will Americans use to cast our ballots in 2008? See the Verifier Map for detailed information on voting systems used in each state and county in 2008 and recent elections.

The other map about half way down on Verified Voting's front page tells what states have taken action with respect to paper/audit provisions. Some have passed requirements that do not yet take effect.
States which are mostly or partially paperless and have not passed a requirement are:

No paper and no requirement. The states which have no paper statewide and
have not passed a requirement yet are:

States with no requirement by law but have paper anyway.
OK, MA, RI, WY...

Passed a law, but left a few counties out.

Which have no paper now but legislation that sets a date to require paper?

State that is partially paperless that has requirement to replace paperless through attrition.
Paperless touchscreens that wear out are to be replaced with optical scan


A paper trail is good, but it's only as good as how, and how often, it's used. We also need a more robust auditing system than we now have, including a much lower threshold for mandatory recounts and a provision for random spot checks.

We have the ability to count votes correctly. What's missing is the will.

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