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Legislation to Ensure the Integrity of Democracy

Recommendations for Federal Legislation to Ensure the Integrity of our Democracy

By Kathy Dopp November 29, 2006

http://electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/EI-FederalLegislationProposal.pdf

These recommendations are the result of detailed discussions with the foremost election integrity experts in the U.S., over a period of several months. They are complex and technical because counting votes is a complex process with many vulnerabilities. Protecting the vote count is not a simple matter.

In the interest of brevity, we have omitted many technical details. Below the list of recommendations are more detailed comments. A list of experts who can provide details and answer questions will be provided.

Recommendations

1. Manual Audits: Require manual audits of machine vote counts sufficiently statistically valid to ensure that electronically-counted election outcomes are correct.

2. Voter Service Reports: Require states to submit timely reports of detailed election data that can be used to measure voter disenfranchisement and voter service levels.

3. Auditable Voting Systems: Provide funds for upgrading voting systems for jurisdictions that have un-auditable voting systems, but fund only "fully-auditable" voting systems where all able-bodied voters can directly record votes on a paper ballot that is voter-verified.

4. Fund Manual Audits and Voter Service Reports: Provide funds for conducting sufficiently statistically valid manual audits of machine vote counts and producing voter service reports in federal elections.

5. Teeth: Provide certain and swift penalties whenever an election jurisdiction fails in a transparency, auditing, or reporting obligation.

6. Public Election Records: Require election officials to make publicly available in original paper and electronic form all election data and records that would reveal fraud or errors in elections or are necessary to verify voter service reports and manual audits, prior to certification of results.

7. Election Monitoring Website: Create a website containing a publicly accessible database for logging and tabulating voters' complaints in elections; and for publicly displaying the reports from the states.

8. Submission of Reports: Require state election officials to submit auditable, audit and voter service reports to the US GAO prior to state certification of election results.

9. Public Disclosure of Voting System Software: Require public disclosure of voting equipment as a condition of any further contracting to enable post-election voting machine integrity verification.

10. Prohibit Certain Network Connections: Outlaw Wide Area Network connections to, and wireless capability in, voting equipment and prohibit voting through any network.

11. Qualifications for Technical Guidelines Development Committee: Require that members of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) for voting systems have at least Masters-level academic credentials in a technical field.

12. Public Right to Observe: Require jurisdictions to allow citizens to observe all aspects of elections.

13. Vote Count Audit and Recount Committee: Create a U.S. Vote Count Audit and Recount Committee whose functions include approving state election audit and recount procedures and policies; and setting standards for state auditable, audit, and voter service reports.

14. Repository for Voting System Disclosure: Fund a repository for publicly disclosed voting system software or require "OVC Listed".

15. Prohibit Practices that Disenfranchise Voters: See a specific list in the "Detailed comments" section.

Please print a pdf copy of the proposals to submit to your US Congressional Representative and Senators including "Detailed comments" and a soon-to-be-released list of Experts here:

http://electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/EI-FederalLegislationProposal.pdf

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Authors Website: http://ElectionArchive.org

Authors Bio: Founder and President of US Count Votes, dba The National Election Data Archive. Volunteer for honest, accurately counted elections since 2003. Masters degree in mathematics with emphasis on computer science. Has written numerous academic and scientific papers with computer scientists, statisticians, and mathematicians on election integrity topics, inluding how to calculate minimum manual audit amounts necessary to ensure election outcome integrity.

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