The image “http://www.votetrustusa.org/images/votetrust-small2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

State and Local Election Integrity Organizations
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Luoisiana
Maine
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
VoteTrustUSA does not speak on behalf of any of the listed organizations.
: mosShowVIMenu( $params ); break; } ?>

   
Around the States

"Trust, But Verify": Tennessee Advisory Commission Issues Voting System Report PDF Print Email
By VerifiedVoting.org   
September 27, 2007

Download the TACIR Report

 

The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) is releasing an interim report on their thorough study of voting systems and that they will present at a hearing in Tennessee today. TACIR’s report presents a range of recommendations for improving the security and reliability of its voting systems, shown in context of the current state of systems nationally. Its report includes a discussion of many of the significant recent developments that have affected the debate about voting technology, notably the ground-breaking California “Top to Bottom Review” reports, the most comprehensive study of voting systems of its kind. Ohio is embarking upon a similar review of their state’s voting systems, and Alaska is considering such a review.

VerifiedVoting.org strongly endorses many of the Commission’s recommendations, which closely parallel positions that we have advocated since our inception. Key among those is that without voter-verified paper ballots, it is not practical to provide reasonable assurance of the integrity of electronic voting systems by any combination of design review, inspection, testing, logical analysis, or control of the system development process.

Recognizing that the paperless DREs used in 93 of Tennessee’s 95 counties “allow no check on the electronically-generated count other than the same machines and software to recount the same electronically recorded votes,” the Commission appears to support the adoption of a paper ballot optical scan voting system in conjunction with ballot marking devices, with which we agree strongly. Optical scan balloting systems are reliable and cost-effective, and with ballot-markers, more accessible than most DRE systems.

The Commission correctly notes that a paper ballot would facilitate another of their recommendations: mandatory post election audits. Such audits are routinely conducted in a number of other states and are neither difficult nor expensive to do; the benefits accrued in voter confidence and security are immeasurably greater than any costs involved. 


TACIR will also recommend that voting machine vendors be required to escrow all of their proprietary software so that it can be reviewed by experts, as well as strengthened security and pre-election testing, and parallel testing on Election Day. VerifiedVoting.org supports all of these suggestions, with the caveat that none of these can substitute for the implementation of voter-verified paper ballots and mandatory post-election audits of a portion of those paper ballots, in randomly selected jurisdictions, sufficient to ensure the accuracy of the outcome. Security measures and testing can and should be carried out in concert with the implementation of paper and audits.

In order to provide Tennessee with the most accessible and reliable range of options for voter-verified paper ballots, we urge the adoption of the recommendations contained in the TACIR studies and we further urge that the state promptly evaluate accessible ballot-marking systems for certification. These can offer a significantly wider range of assistive features than most DREs, allowing voters with disabilities and different language abilities to privately and securely mark a paper ballot which can then be scanned and counted with all other voters’ ballots. They are federally qualified and in current use in thousands of jurisdictions around the U.S. We also strongly recommend that the use of direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines for any purpose be strictly curtailed, as soon as alternate accessible systems can reasonably be put in place.

Finally, we commend TACIR for hearing from technical experts with a background in voting system security research and for also listening to the most important voice – that of the voters themselves. We would be pleased to provide additional information upon request.
Comment on This Article
You must login to leave comments...


Other Visitors Comments
There are no comments currently....
Next >


State Resources
Election Law @ Moritz
Electionline
National Conference of State Legislatures
Verified Voting
Model Legislation
: mosShowVIMenu( $params ); break; } ?>
State Pages
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Hampshire
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
: mosShowVIMenu( $params ); break; } ?>