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Voter Verification Newsletter - Vol. 2 No. 5

Voter Verification Newsletter
Volume 2, Number 5, on April 1, 2004

David L. Dill,

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* Federal Update: Senate and House of Representatives
* National Organizations: Common Cause, People for the American Way
* State Update: Maryland, Ohio, Alaska, and California
* Volunteers Needed for Election Officials Project
* Verified Voting Hires Executive Director
* Seeking Nationwide Campaign Coordinator
* Seeking Webmaster
* Athan Gibbs Sr. Obituary
* Subscribe and Unsubscribe Information


1. Senate:

One of the biggest worries we have had about Federal legislation is that there were three competing bills in the Senate, submitted by Senators Boxer, Clinton, and Graham. We've been asking people to support Graham's bill, S 1980, and to urge all the Senators to get together behind a single merged bill. We are pleased to report some very positive developments in the Senate.

On March 10, New York Senator Clinton's office joined forces with Florida Senator Bob Graham on a new Senate bill. That bill will combine many of the provisions of their separate bills (Graham/S.1980 and Clinton/S. 1986) related to voter-verified audit trails for electronic voting systems.

On March 12, California Senator Boxer's office joined the other two Senators, so the new Senate bill will include many provisions from Boxer's bill, S. 2045. (See a comparison of the three separate bills at )

The combined Graham/Clinton/Boxer bill is nearing submission to the Senate, possibly within the next week, at which point the Senate will assign a bill number. Called the Restore Elector Confidence in Our Representative Democracy (RECORD) Act, the bill requires a voter-verifiable paper record so that all voters will be able to confirm their votes were accurately cast and recorded. The paper ballot would also be used in the event of a recount or audit.

On March 25, the original Graham bill, S. 1980, picked up one more cosponsor, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

2. House of Representatives

On March 10, H.R. 2239 picked up one more cosponsor, Rep. Levin of Michigan's 12th Congressional District. The number of cosponsors now stands at 128.

We believe that HR 2239 has been in a holding pattern while Representatives await developments in the Senate. We hope that a unified bill in the Senate will lead to resumed momentum in the House.


Common Cause and People for the American Way have both issued statements supporting voter verifiable paper trails. Both organizations have large grass roots constituencies, and both are in coalitions with many other organizations that have pro-democracy and civil rights orientations. Neither has endorsed specific legislation. The statements are available at:

and at:


1. Maryland

House Bill 53, the Voter Verified Paper Record, sponsored by Delegates Montgomery and Cadden, is in the House Ways and Means Committee, which held a Public Hearing on Feb. 10.

Senate Bill 393, the Voter Verified Paper Record, was sponsored by Senators Harris and Greenip, who held a public hearing which was packed with supporters. The bill passed the Senate on March 31.

The Campaign for Verifiable Voting in Maryland has been leading the charge against Diebold touch screen machines in that state, and has been facing fierce political resistance. Fortunately, True Majority has also been helping a lot.

2. Ohio

The Legislative Joint Committee on Ballot Security held public hearing on March 17. Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell is trying to force counties to select a electronic voting system vendor by March 30 or he threatens to make the selection for them.

For a joint Verified Voting and Electronic Frontier Foundation Ohio legislative action alert, see

For more information on Ohio legislation status, see

3. Alaska

House Bill 459 is in the House State Affairs Committee, which held public hearings on March 18. After discussion on the bill, the committee chair has promised amendments.

For more information on Alaska legislation status, see

4. California

First, please note that the meeting of the California Voting Systems and Procedures (VSP) panel has been rescheduled from March 30 to 10:00am on April 7.

Second, the VSP has scheduled another meeting on April 21-22 to discuss voting systems for the November 2004 election, among other matters. VSP encourages the public to submit written comments on agenda items no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 6th to ensure their delivery to the VSP members prior to the meeting. If you wish to provide information or present an oral statement at the meeting, please contact Michael Wagaman at (916) 657-2166 or In all cases, the presiding officer reserves the right to impose time limits on presentations as may be necessary to ensure that the agenda is completed. For more information on submitting VSP comments, see

and for more information about the VSP meeting see

For more information on California legislation status, see


With the upcoming release of round two Helping America Vote Act (HAVA) funds to the states, time is running short for getting the word out to election officials to dispel misconceptions about HAVA requirements that could lead to widespread purchases of electronic voting machines without paper audit trails.

Verified Voting needs a few dependable volunteers in each state who are willing to organize delivery of information packets and an ongoing dialog with election officials statewide and in each individual county.

Please indicate that you want to help with the election officials project when you volunteer at


The Verified Voting Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on reliable and secure election systems, today named Will Doherty as its Executive Director.

"We're pleased that Will Doherty joins us when our extensive grassroots efforts are poised to make a real difference," said David Dill, founder of the Verified Voting Foundation and a Stanford University Computer Science professor. "He brings us the management and leadership abilities to guarantee organizational success."

"I'm confident that the Verified Voting Foundation can tip the balance for immediate adoption of voter-verifiable election systems nationwide," Doherty said. "I've come on board to make sure election systems keep a permanent paper record so election officials can perform an audit in case of a malfunction or dispute about election results."

Doherty previously held a position as Media Relations Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

He founded the Online Policy Group (OPG), a free speech Internet Service Provider (ISP) that initiated a lawsuit against election systems manufacturer Diebold Systems, Inc., to prevent the company's attempt to stifle discussion of an email archive demonstrating flaws with Diebold election equipment and potential problems with use of uncertified portions of Diebold election machines in actual elections.

Doherty has twenty years of experience in for-profit and nonprofit management, consulting, and activism. He served as Globalization Operations Manager at Sybase, Inc., Localization Program Manager and Technical Writer for Sun Microsystems, Inc., and Director of Online Community Development at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). He has designed and implemented Internet strategies and websites for dozens of nonprofit community and advocacy organizations. Doherty holds an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University and a B.S. in Computer Science and Writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Verified Voting, a nonprofit organization that champions transparent, reliable, and publicly verifiable elections in the United States, is seeking a Nationwide Campaign Coordinator to organize local activists and state organizations into an effective nationwide network. Help us get paper ballots or audit trails in every precinct so that every vote counts!

We seek a creative, competent, and flexible individual who is comfortable working in a fast-paced multi-tasking environment and has a strong commitment to voter-verifiable elections organizing.

The ideal candidate will have experience in organizing nonprofit campaigns across a region or the entire US, as well as an understanding of the role the mass media plays in advancing an issues agenda. Applicants should have proven volunteer recruitment and retention capability, working effectively and respectfully with diverse individuals and groups, especially with the disabled community. Candidates should have excellent writing, editing, speaking, and listening skills for creating campaign materials and communicating in person, by email, and phone, as well as a talent for motivating and negotiating with people coming at the issues from a wide variety of perspectives and concerns.

Able to work strategically while tracking lots of tasks and details, candidates should also have proactive problem-solving ability and initiative with good planning and organizational skills, as well as excellent computer literacy.

Nonprofit salary (i.e., lower than industry) and a benefits package. The position is located in San Francisco with some travel requirements within the United States and reports to the organization's Executive Director.

To apply, send a cover letter and your resume in plain-text format with links to or copies of some samples of your work to


Verified Voting, a nonprofit organization that champions transparent, reliable, and publicly verifiable elections in the United States, is seeking a talented webmaster to take charge of the organization's website. Help us get paper ballots or audit trails in every precinct so that every vote counts!

We seek a creative and competent individual who is comfortable working in a fast-paced multi-tasking environment.

The ideal candidate will have expertise in HTML, XHTML, XML, SQL, Unix, Apache, Windows, ASP, PHP, JavaScript, Photoshop, Illustrator and at least one scripting language (e.g., Perl, Python, sh). Applicants should also be familiar with implementing accessibility standards, optimizing the site for multiple browsers and with stylesheets, as well as tuning website performance under high loads and preventing security breaches. Someone with work experience in graphic design and an appreciation for clean presentation especially welcome. The ability to migrate a website and associated data and utilities from Windows to Unix, as well as systems administration experience, would be a major plus.

Nonprofit salary (i.e., lower than industry) and a benefits package. The position is located in San Francisco.

To apply, send a cover letter and your resume in plain-text format with links to some samples of your work to


Associated Press reports that Athan Gibbs Sr., an accountant who devoted himself to developing a better way to record and count votes after the 2000 presidential election, died Friday in a car crash. More on the story of this verified voting pioneer at


To subscribe to the Verified Voting newsletter, please go to

To unsubscribe from the Verified Voting newsletter, please go to then log in, change "Email Preference" to None, then click on the Submit button at the bottom of the web page to complete the unsubscription process.

The Verified Voting Foundation and are sister nonprofit organizations championing reliable and publicly verifiable elections. Founded by Stanford University Computer Science Professor David Dill, the organizations support a requirement for voter-verified paper trails on electronic voting machines allowing voters to inspect individual permanent records of their ballots and election officials to conduct meaningful recounts as needed. The organizations' website is at

© Copyright 2004, Verified Voting Foundation, Inc. Reproduction for nonprofit purposes permitted with attribution to the Verified Voting Foundation at


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