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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Have you contacted your Supervisors yet?

Help Keep Questionable Voting Machines out of Arizona!

If unchallenged, Arizona will be receiving the unreliable and insecure Diebold AccuVote-TSx ballot station (TouchScreen) from Diebold Election Systems Inc., at least one per precinct plus more for early voting stations, to provide accessibility for disabled voters mandated by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Here are just a few serious reliability and security vulnerabilities:

· Unreliable
The spotty Diebold reliability record was highlighted when the state of California decertified AccuVote-TSx last July due to unreliable printer modules that jammed papers, stations that lost voting records and required frequent reboots during testing. The machines had an overall failure rate of 30%, and a 1.37% loss of the paper ballots. Touch Screen reliability issues prompted the state of New Mexico to stop using them. Could your vote be the one to disappear?

· Inadequately Tested
Maryland’s Republican Governor, Robert Ehrlich
, is urging his state board of elections to decertify Diebold election equipment until they are subjected to Federal testing.

· Inefficient/Costly
The presence of two completely different voting systems requires poll worker training on two systems, produces confusion, long lines, and requires two separate procedures for transmitting votes to central tabulators. Maryland’s Governor estimated that TSx use will result in a 1000% increase in annual maintenance costs.

· Un-recountable
Machine-generated printed records on paper rolls are not the same as voter-marked paper ballots. They are incompatible with the standard optical scan equipment already in use in the county. In an event of a recount it is not clear how officials will be able to use these paper rolls. If current legislation under consideration in the Arizona House of Representatives becomes law, the use of these paper rolls will be disallowed entirely, leaving no independent means of verifying the tabulated electronic vote!

· Compromised Ballot Secrecy
The paper record stores votes in sequence matched to voter rolls. Ballot secrecy is not guaranteed.

· Hackable
The memory cards on TSx voting machines use so-called “interpreted code” that is prohibited by FEC standards. With interpreted code, the system is vulnerable to malicious tampering. Therefore, a voter can verify the printed record on a continuous roll of paper tape, but can’t know if that printed record matches the invisible data stored on the memory card.

· Illegally certified
The Arizona Secretary of State has approved a TSx version that is different from the version federally approved.

· Unaccountable
No public hearings were ever held by the Arizona Secretary of State on the purchase and or the reliability testing of these machines. This is unacceptable!

· Reliable alternatives to the TSx
The Arizona Secretary of State has already tested and certified a far more suitable alternative voting system for use in other Arizona counties that would provide accessibility for disabled voters, the ES&S AutoMark. These systems produce a marked paper ballot that can be fed through an existing optical scan system. Why not use them here in Pima and other counties?


Join other county voters and demand that your county Board of Supervisors block the purchase of Diebold machines. County citizens demand their vote be secure from fraud, manipulation, and unreliable hardware and software.

If you live in Pima County, block the purchase and receipt of Diebold AccuVote-TSx machines for Pima County by contacting your supervisors here.

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