Diverse Coalition Mobilizes To Support VVPB
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Diverse Coalition Mobilizes
To Support Voter-Verified
An unusual alliance of liberal and conservative organizations as well as nonprofit, public interest groups are joining forces in support of the Georgia Vote Count Protection Act, nonpartisan legislation drafted by the Georgia Voter Choice Coalition, that mandates the provision of voter-verified paper ballots for Georgia's paperless Diebold Election System. The growing momentum includes in the mix the Georgia Green Party, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party and Independent Party; the Christian Coalition of Georgia, the Cobb County National Organization of Women (NOW); and the Georgia Eagle Forum. Nationally, the act is endorsed by Common Cause, the National Ballot Integrity Project, Veterans for Common Sense, Verifiedvoting.org, VotersUnite and Votewatch.
Citizen concerns about paperless voting have mounted since the installation of the Diebold Election System in Georgia in 2002. Their concerns have been heightened by recent studies, such as the one issued in September 2004 by the Free Congress Foundation, who warned that Georgia has one of worst voting system implementations in the nation. The foundation issued a report grading Georgia's system an F- on a national average of C+. (http://www.voterchoice.org/library/fminus.htm)
Electronic voting machines can be accidentally or intentionally programmed in a variety of ways to record and count the vote differently from what the voter intends. Additional problems arise in paperless implementations, because there is no mechanism to conduct a recount independently of the election tally that is computed by the system's software.
"These major flaws will be rectified with the passage of this legislation. In providing for voter-verified paper ballots that will be counted at the precinct level, voters gain an auditing mechanism to compare to the electronic tally," said Anne Merkl, chair of the Voter Choice Coalition. "We believe very strongly that securing the integrity of our elections should be at the top of the 2005 legislative agenda."
With the start on January 10th of the 2005 session of the General Assembly, the time is ripe to move forward with efforts to provide citizens with legislation that will restore confidence and legitimacy to the voting process in Georgia. Adoption of the Vote Count Protection Act provides the necessary legislation to do just that.
For background information and to review the proposed legislation, go to: http://www.voterchoice.org/
Links to endorser websites:
Christian Coalition of Georgia: http://www.gachristiancoalition.org/
Cobb County National Organization for Women:
Free Congress Foundation: http://www.freecongress.org/
National Ballot Integrity Project: http://www.ballotintegrity.org
Verified Voting: http://www.verifiedvoting.org
Veterans for Common Sense: http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/
Voters Unite: http://www.votersunite.org
For further information, contact:
Communications Coordinator, Voter Choice Coalition