Utah Press Release about "Computer Ate My Vote" Day

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Thu Jul 01 2004 - 11:20:22 CDT


Nationwide "Computer Ate My Vote" Day - Press Conference

Contacts: "Utah Count Votes" Rich Wyman 435-649-9661 or Kathy Dopp

WHO: Alan Dechert, of the Open Voting Consortium (OVC), a non-profit
organization dedicated to the development, maintenance, and delivery of
open voting systems for use in public elections; Jay LePreau, security
expert, Director of Flux Research Group and Associate Research Professor
at the University of Utah; Matt Wood, award-winning LINUX programmer.

INVITEES: Members of the Utah Voting Equipment Selection Committee; Utah's
Governor, Lt. Governor, US Congressional and Gubernatorial candidates are
invited to learn more and, if they desire, to state their positions and
answer questions.

WHAT: Press conference on the need for computerized voting machines to
use public programming instructions and to produce paper records, which
can be verified by voters and kept for audits, recounts, and dispute

WHEN: Tuesday, July 13, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Utah State Capitol Steps

The Utah Voting Equipment Selection Committee plans to replace its punch
card voting machines with computerized voting machines and select one
vendor for the entire state . The committee plans to finalize its request
for proposal (RFP) in July 2004 and purchase voting machines by January
2005 in order to meet the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) deadline of January
2006. Computerized voting machines have proven to have serious flaws,
resulting in the loss of citizens' votes. Paper ballots and optical
scanning machines have lower error rates than both punch-card or
computerized voting machines and equipment is available to create
optically scanned paper ballots for people with disabilities, yet so far
Utah has certified only computerized voting machines .

According to "Utah Count Votes", proprietary (secret) software makes
computerized voting machines open to hacking and errors and means that not
even a computer scientist can determine how our votes are counted. All of
the systems Utah certified use proprietary software and none have adequate
voter verified paper ballots.

"Computer Ate My Vote" day is happening simultaneously in states to
encourage election officials to require computerized voting machines to
use public programming instructions and produce paper records, which can
be verified by voters and kept for audits, recounts, and dispute

A national coalition of groups including National Committee for Voting
Integrity, Common Cause, VerifiedVoting.org, Computer Professionals for
Social Responsibility, and Electronic Frontier Foundation is organizing
this national event. They are urging the passage of HR2239 and S1980 in
the US Congress. Both bills require a voter verified paper ballot and
public programming instructions for all computerized voting machines.

Flux researches software systems, including local and distributed
operating systems, networking, component-based systems, programming and
non-traditional languages, compilers, information and resource security.
Open Voting Consortium is developing free voting software to run on very
inexpensive PC hardware. OVC voting systems will accommodate different
languages and scoring methods, as well as voters with special needs. The
system will produce voter-verifiable paper ballots, allowing every voter
to confirm their choices and providing a paper record for every vote.

In NM, computer voting machines failed to count 12,000 of 48,000 votes.
In GA, they registered "Yes" when voters voted "No", and in Indiana,
computer voting machines counted 140,000 votes for only 19,000 voters.
Computer voting machines have had numerous problems and failures in TN,
NC, FL, MS, VA, CA, TX, and more. There is a 52 page report of reported
election problems available at verifiedvoting.org which David Dill,
Computer Science Professor of Stanford University, began to inform the
public of the problems with relying on electronic voting machines to
record and count our votes.

 Utah Count Votes group will deliver petitions from citizens, and call on
Val Oveson, Utah's Chief Information Officer and Chairman of the Utah
Voting Equipment Selection Committee, and Amy Naccarato, Utah Elections
Director, to use their authority to ensure the integrity of Utah's
elections by requiring any computer voting machines to produce
voter-verified paper ballots and use open source programs. Press will be
able to ask questions of speakers and invitees.

Computer Ate My Vote day events are happening simultaneously in states
across the country. For information on all the rallies nationwide, please
see the nationwide "Computer Ate My Vote" Day of Action web portal at

The Organizers: Utah Count Votes and Verified Voting Foundation; locally by
Kathy Dopp who began Summit County's first Internet Service Provider in
1994 and Rich Wyman who is a well-known Utah musician and activist.
Contact Kathy@directell.com or Rich Wyman 435-649-9661

To request a public hearing or give input to the Utah Voting Equipment
Selection Committee, email elections@utah.gov or contact Amy Naccarato,
Director of Elections, 801-5838-1041, 115 State Capitol Bldg, SLC, UT

Kathy Dopp
More info on http://votersunite.org
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Received on Sat Jul 31 23:17:13 2004

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