The first edition of this compendium originated as a result of an email conversation I had with anelection official. I had become more and more bewildered by the resistance to a voter-verifiedpaper audit trail (VVPAT) on election equipment. Discovering that she was in favor of a VVPAT,I asked her why so many were resistant.Her reply was enlightening. She pointed out that, with the recent eruption of information andopinions on electronic elections, it's extremely difficult to tell which "studies" are legitimate andwhich are rumor. Then she said, "Add in a dose of politics — the comments about Diebold Execsand Bush ties – and you have a real mess. Make sense?"It did. Most of the officials responsible for making election system decisions don't have time to dothe extensive, time-consuming research required to learn the enormous variety of informationthat has become available about voting systems. Those in one state may not be aware of theproblems election officials in other states are encountering with the equipment they are using.For example, how many officials responsible for our elections know such tidbits as these?
Hinds County, Mississippi had to hold its November 2003 election all over again because somany of the paperless electronic voting machines (Direct Record Electronic – DRE) brokedown that they couldn't determine the will of the voters.
Neglecting to keep the DRE batteries charged between elections cost Arapahoe County,Colorado over $100,000 in battery replacements just before a recent election.
If it takes an hour to do the Logic and Accuracy testing on one DRE, San Diego county wouldhave to spend 1275 person-days testing before every election in order to comply withCalifornia law.This slightly renamed "revised edition" has been updated to include additional facts that haveemerged since the first edition was completed.Information is always essential to making wise decisions. That premise is the basis for thiscollection of facts, which is sort of a consumer's guide to voting systems. As the eventssurrounding elections have become more publicized – especially after the 2004 General Election— it has become clear that electronic elections bring with them many, many problems.This booklet is simply a collection of relevant information;
it is by no means an exhaustive workon the issue.
I offer it in the hope that it will help those reading it to make wise decisionsregarding our election systems.Respectfully,Ellen Theisen