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Will Your Vote Count? Will your vote count? Voting machine choices N.C. Coalition for Verified Voting www.ncvoter.net Joyce McCloy Pros and Cons of voting.

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Presentation on theme: "Will Your Vote Count? Will your vote count? Voting machine choices N.C. Coalition for Verified Voting www.ncvoter.net Joyce McCloy Pros and Cons of voting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Will Your Vote Count? Will your vote count? Voting machine choices N.C. Coalition for Verified Voting Joyce McCloy Pros and Cons of voting machine choices

2 Topics Types of voting systems Paper Ballots and Optical Scanners Concerns about DREs Common Questions What You Need to Do!

3 Right Now in North Carolina “Like pushy car dealers, industry reps for voting machines have hawked top-of-the-line “cream puffs” with lots of bells and whistles while keeping their economy models under wraps. Unless county officials smarten up in a hurry, voters across the state could get stuck with expensive lemons.”

4 Types of Voting Systems Electronic Touchscreen/Pushbutton  DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) Paper Ballots and Precinct Based Optical Scan Systems

5 Touchscreen/Pushbutton (DRE) DREs: Voter Verifiable Paper Ballot (VVPB)  Voters see a paper printout of their vote before leaving the voting booth.  Printout is stored and treated like a traditional ballot.  It cannot be thrown out or changed by the voting system.  ATM-style printed ballots are hard to read, verify and recount!

6 Paper Ballots and Optical Scanners Electronic Counting Machines  Voters use pens to mark a paper ballot.  Completed ballots counted by optical scanner.  One optical scanner in each polling place to validate and count votes.  Disabled access - Ballot Marking Devices  Used in 48 NC counties by around 50% of voters. Ballot Verification  Voters insert completed ballot into scanner for validation.  Alerts voters to over-votes and under-votes.

7 Optical Scan Ballot

8 Precinct Based Optical Scanner

9

10 Ballot Marking Device

11 Advantages of Optical Scanners Paper ballots are inherently voter verified. Easy and intuitive for voters and poll workers. Ballots are easily recounted by hand. Lowest rates of invalid ballots. Easy to add voting booths at low cost. Reliable, auditable, accessible, cost effective.

12 Concerns About DREs Failures and problems in real elections! Actual costs exceed predicted costs. Election officials rely increasingly on private corporations to run our elections. Ballots on reel to reel printer have been rendered unreadable by printer jams.

13 DREs - Failures in Real Elections November Boone County, Indiana Software reported 144,000 votes. There are only 19,000 registered voters. When corrected, accounting showed just 5,352 ballots were cast. An obvious error in a small county, but would it be noticed in a large district?

14 DREs - Failures in Real Elections Miami Dade County, March 2005 A coding error caused the DREs to lose hundreds of votes in six recent elections. New Supervisor of Elections appointed after former supervisor resigned. Recommended scrapping the $24.5 million DREs for paper ballots with optical scanners.

15 DREs - Costs Exceed Predicted Costs Miami Dade County, November 2004 DREs cost $6.6 million to operate during November's presidential election… Twice what officials budgeted! Orange County spent less than $2 million to run optical scanners… Less than a third of Miami-Dade's cost!

16 DREs - Elections rely on vendors Miami Dade County Purchasing contract included more than 400 days' worth of project-manager support from vendor… Those days were gone by the end of the first year. County negotiates the rate and number of days for vendor support in advance of elections… Price has been as high as $1,100 a day, per person.

17 Recounting the paper ballot DREs - ballot is thermal paper on a continuous reel, 4” inches by 300’ Optical scan - 11”X18” ballots on heavy card stock

18 DREs - The Software Gap Screen touches Recorded votes DRE System ? Candidate John Doe Candidate Mary Smith Software is a “Black Box”. Any accidental or deliberate flaw in the software can compromise the election undetectably!

19 Rebutting Common Arguments Total annual operating expense Purchase Costs Numbers of machines needed Familiarity for voters Disabled Accessibility Reliability

20 Will Your Vote Count? North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting Joyce McCloy


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