Doylestown, PA -
ON Monday March 5 in the Pearl S. Buck room of the Doylestown Free Library at 1:30PM, the Coalition of Voting Integrity, along with Dr. Rebecca Mercuri and Dr. Dan Lopresti, will announce the recent purchase of and plans for discarded Danaher/Shouptronic and Sequoia Advance full-face electronic voting machines.
The Danaher/Shouptronic and Sequoia full-face voting machines were purchased for $25 each from counties in Tennessee and North Carolina, which had discarded the machines. The machines were picked up by members of CVI and delivered to leading electronic voting security experts, Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, Dr. Dan Lopresti of Lehigh University and members of the Princeton research laboratory, which recently garnered national attention when it repeatedly demonstrated the vulnerability and hackability of electronic voting machines including the Diebold AccuVote-TS machine and Sequoia’s AVC . The Danaher/Shouptonic and Sequoia machines will be examined by all three researchers for various operational issues including why full-face voting machines have consistently demonstrated the highest amout of lost votes (undervotes) in the nation.
“Electronic voting is still a controversial issue,” said Dr. Dan Lopresti. “Given its fundamental importance to our democracy, there are far too many unanswered questions. That's why we're so excited at Lehigh to now have examples of three such machines used in real elections around the country, including a Danaher / Shouptronic Model 1242 like the kind used in Bucks County. We plan to take a close look at these machines to try to figure out why certain problems, including reports of chronic undervoting in the Danaher system, continue to persist.” He continued, “This opportunity to study e-voting hardware and software is extraordinary since local elections officials have generally forbidden independent evaluations of their equipment.”
Legal counsel will also be present to address questions concerning pending legal actions and the significance of the planned research into full-face voting machines.
Excellent photo opportunity: At the press conference, CVI will introduce it’s own Danaher/Shouptronic machine, “Shoupy,” which will be covered in band-aids to send the message that all touchscreen machines are flawed stopgap devices that do nothing to address the country’s voting crisis and indeed make it worse. Shoupy will also sport a sign reading “So Easy and So Wrong.”
The Danaher/Shouptronic machines are used in six counties in Pennsylvania, including Bucks, Philadelphia, Delaware and Berks. The Sequoia Advantage electronic machine is used in Montgomery County among others. The Danaher/Shouptronic machine alone represents the second largest block of Pennsylvania voters. Together, the Danaher/Shouptronic and Sequoia systems control enough Pennsylvania votes to have a significant impact on the outcome of any state and national election.
The press conference will also feature a live debut of her great new song, "If You Want To Be A Voter (The Ballad of Sarasota) by Buckingham musician Lori Rosolowsky. The song incorporates historic American battleground references as it chronicles the Sarasota County 13th Congressional District election in November 2006, in which 18,000 (15%) of votes casts were not counted. The election was decided by 369 votes. The legal and social implications for that election in Bucks County and nationally will also be discussed. Free downloads of the song and lyrics are available at www.voiceofthevoters.org
CVI co-founders Mary Ann Gould and Ruth Matheny will
· Announce a major new policy position regarding electronic voting machines and pending legislation.
· Call for a county, state and nationwide ban of touchscreen voting machines.
· Call on the Commissioners of Bucks and other counties to move away from a defense of the purchase of DRE’s, since data is available every week to prove that they do not work, and to instead work together to replace the DREs for both financial and security reasons.
WHAT: Press conference to announce CVI's purchase of Danaher/Shouptronic and Sequoia Advantage full-face voting machines.
WHEN: MONDAY, March 6 1:30PM
WHERE: Pearl S. Buck Room, Doylestown Free Library 150 S. Pine Street Doylestown, PA 18901-4932
Read about the Coalition for Voting Integrity at www.SaveOurVote.com
Listen to CVI's nationally known radio show, Voice of the Voters: the Power and Responsibility of Democracy via our archives.
Listen to leaders from the voting issues community to the halls of Congress, who have been interviewed on Voice of the Voters, the Power and Responsibility of Democracy, including Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), Rep. Ron Paul (TX-14), voting rights activist and academic, Dr. Avi Rubin, civil rights attorney Jonn Bonifaz, Pulitzer Prize winning historian, Dr. Gordon Wood and University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Steve Freeman.
Three relevant reports from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU:
Most broadly, the report found:
· All three voting systems have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities, which pose a real danger to the integrity of national, state, and local elections.
· The most troubling vulnerabilities of each system can be substantially remedied if proper countermeasures are implemented at the state and local level.
· Few jurisdictions have implemented any of the key countermeasures that could make the least difficult attacks against voting systems much more difficult to execute successfully.
The Brennan Center report concluded that two of the most commonly purchased electronic voting systems today are better at recording voter intentions than older systems like the punchcard system used in Florida in 2000. At the same time, the report faulted one electronic voting system under consideration in New York and in use in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. This system, the “full face DRE,” continues to unduly hamper voters’ ability to easily and accurately cast a ballot for their preferred candidate without undue burden, confusion and delay.
Among the report’s key findings:
Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) and Scrolling Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems are more accurate at recording voter intention than older voting systems. In 2004, residual vote rates were less than 1% for both technologies.
Full-face DRE systems continue to be plagued with an unacceptably high residual vote rate. In 2000, 2002 and 2004, it exceeded that of either PCOS or scrolling DRE systems.
Residual vote rates among voters earning less then $25,000 are higher on full faced DRE’s (2.8%), than on either PCOS (1.4%) or Scrolling DRE’s (1.3%).
The report is the final product of the first comprehensive, empirical analysis of electronic voting systems in the United States. It comes after nearly two years of study with many of the nation’s leading academics, election officials, economists, and security, usability and accessibility experts.
Up until this point, there has been surprisingly little empirical study of voting systems in the areas of security, accessibility, usability, and cost. The result is that jurisdictions make purchasing decisions and adopt laws and procedures that have little to do with their overall goals.
New Mexico also chose to discard their Danaher/Shouptronic machines due to undervotes ranging from 6 to 16 times the national average and in comparison to optical scan machines during the 2004 election.