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Provisional ballot PA user documentation link
 

Be aware of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.  Many states are moving to state-wide implementation of replacement machines, while other states are basically leaving the decision up to local county elected officials.
 
FYI: the concern over security of electronic voting systems has not diminished during the two years I've tracked this issue. However, after attending demonstrations by voting systems vendors in January, 2006 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, it does appear the vendors have attempted to address the concern for "paper" trails. Many states, such as Pennsylvania, have laws that pertain to the anonymous and private guarantee for ballots to be cast. Currently, Pennsylvania legislators have not authorized the use of a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail. Be aware, the voting systems do have the capability for the VVPAT, but are prevented by PA law from installing this feature.
 
The computer science experts WARN OF TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING
 
Election debacle highlights debate on new voting systems
Earl Lane.
WASHINGTON BUREAU
12/14/2000
Newsday
 
In the aftermath of the electoral train wreck in Florida, localities around the country are taking a hard look at alternatives to punch-card balloting, with its potential for ambiguous chads, both dimpled and hanging.

But some computer specialists caution that electronic voting machines, widely discussed as an up-to-date alternative to paper ballot systems, have drawbacks of their own and are unlikely to become the dominant voting system in the United States any time soon.

 The machines can cost as much as $7,000 each, a substantial up-front investment that many counties and municipalities had been reluctant to consider

Those warnings have been since 2000.

Recently, Rep. Rush Holt introduced federal legislation:

Bill requiring a voter-verified paper trail introduced in Congress

Yesterday Congressman Rush Holt (D-New Jersey) introduced HR 2239, the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003".

More... so much more... at http://www.calvoter.org/cvfnews/cvfnews052303.html

Rep. Holt's press release

Since these are recent developments, the local Fayette County board of commissioners, for instance, may not be aware of the legislation at this time, let alone other developments:  a few voting machine companies have taken the criticisms of the touch-screen voting machines (from computer science experts) seriously.  See Vote Integrity.

Reviewing Kim Alexander California Voter Foundation website, excellent, worth a daily visit.
 
Do not miss any of these informative up-to-date links, wow...
 
article as recent as June 3, 2003 Is it Safe yet?
 
 
Look at these new finds:
 
By Judy Kroeger
DAILY COURIER
Friday, June 6, 2003
 

STAR JUNCTION -- An error in reading a poll result means that the current president of the Frazier School Board of Directors will not be on the November ballot.

Poll workers at the Perry Township District 3 polling location reported that John Lowery III received 40 more Democratic votes than Bill Vargo in May's primary.

A spokeswoman from the Fayette County Election Bureau said that someone read Vargo's vote count as 49 instead of the correct 89 votes on one of two machines at the location. When the paper record from the machine was matched with the general return during this week's count, the error was discovered.

The official results of the May 20 primary will be available in about 10 days, she said.

 
Voting errors suggest no fraud

Sunday, June 17, 2001

By James O'Toole, Politics Editor, Post-Gazette

Most of the controversy in the Florida presidential election saga focused on the recording and counting of votes, although there also was concern that some eligible Florida voters were barred from voting. The problems alleged by the O'Connor campaign by contrast generally involved not the counting of votes but the potential for errors made before the voters entered the voting booth -- most importantly, questions of whether the poll workers allowed only eligible voters to participate in the Democratic primary.

A new, computerized voting system would not prevent such errors from being repeated, Wolosik said. New voting machines, using ATM-like technology, would cost up to $15 million.

"Even if you had a new system, people would still make clerical errors. It's possible [the elections department] will make errors too and send wrong information to the voting districts," he said.

"Whether it's a mechanical lever or a touch-screen [system], you still have to make adjustments to the machine and the possibility for error exists."

We have news for these guys:  we don't accept the avoidable "human" errors, and we don't accept any voting machines which are not guaranteed protected from potential fraud and manipulation!
 
There can be potential fraud with any voting system, that isn't under dispute, however, the problem is the possibility of replacing one voting machine system with another system that doesn't have a citizen - voter audited paper trail.
 
At our local polls, we have what are called poll watchers from all parties.  These are the people who are supposed to watch the goings on during and after the election.
 
We need more such people and trained to watch for potential errors at the polls.
 
However, if the registration of qualified voters is not clean, if that is not "watched" the possibility of fraud exists in the registration process as well.
 
In 1999, I presented the board of Fayette County commissioners with the Election Code wherein:
 
Under PA VOTER REGISTRATION ACT (Section 304 (b)(3) pertaining specifically to second through eighth class counties) other staff of the Registration Commission SHALL be as follows:

(Subsection ii) Inspectors of registration who have authority to investigate all matters regarding voter registration and to make recommendations to the commission.
 
Note:  this is my old site, my new site is citizenmom.com
 
 
Our board of commissioners, all these years later, have yet to consider appointing such person or persons to go out and function per the law.

Lost and Found:
 
Just found this item on a search June 6, 2003!  Who knew?  so the mechanical lever machines are also considered to be direct recording machines.  That's very interesting - that's exactly the kind of machines Fayette County has had for the past how many years?
 
Maybe somebody should have conducted a study of our machines, and possibly an investigation long ago?
 
Vote of No Confidence, from Conspire.Com:  Department of Retroactive Prognostication
 
Excerpt
 
the trend in the computer elections business is toward "direct recording" machines -- basically, automatic teller machines for voters. These machines increase the convenience of voting and the speed with which votes can be tabulated on election night. But since there are no ballots,, there is no way to manually verify the machine's counts. Some direct recording devices are capable of transmitting counts immediately over phone lines or even via satellite.

Consultant Naegle recommended to the Federal Elections Commission that direct recording machines should have some way of recording votes independent of its own internal memory. Again, the FEC rejected what seems like a sensible, even crucial, suggestion. 

One of the most widely used direct recording machines is called the "Shouptronic" named for its company, R.F. Shoup. The president of that company, Ransom Shoup II,  was convicted in 1979 of conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to an FBI inquiry into a lever machine-counted election in Philadelphia. 

New York City is now prepared to spend up to $50 million to convert its elections to direct recording machines or another electronic system known as "optical mark." the Shouptronic is among the candidates in a furious campaign to win the Big Apple contract.

Found June 6, 2003

Millersville University, Pennsylvania Election Reform:  The Failed Experiment

November 27, 2001

Excerpt

Pennsylvania counties currently employ six different types of voting systems, including the now infamous punch cards used in Florida. Even more dubious are the mechanical lever machines still used in 25 counties. These machines are relics of the past. Not only are they old; they're not even made any longer. They are a nightmare to use. The names of candidates are difficult to read, the levers stick, the ballot is often presented in a confusing manner, and they are capable of undercounting votes actually cast.

Read more...

Beware of the following site
 

New Demos Report Dispels "Voting Fraud" Myth. Demos has released a new report that will be useful for any advocate of election reform who has ever grappled with the issue of voting fraud. "Securing the Vote: An Analysis of Election Fraud" finds that fraud is a negligible problem in American democracy that does not affect election outcomes in any of the 50 states. The report also finds that election reforms such as the National Voter Registration Act, mail-in voting, and election day registration can broaden voter participation without risking increased fraud. Click here for a copy of the report or email Tate Hausman at thausman@demos-usa.org for more information.

Voting fraud is "negligible" - right.  Most importantly, our nation is a republic, with a rule of law, not rule of the mob.

Should many states move to same day registration, there absolutely must be some way to verify the individual is a citizen of the United States, and there must be some way to guarantee this individual doesn't go and vote in another state either by absentee ballot, mail in, or provisional ballot.

Pennsylvania has also fallen for the "provisional" ballot - that is, somebody who appears at the local polling place, but does not show up as registered on our local precinct or county voter registration list can cast a provisional ballot, and be checked out as a valid voter later.

 http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/ALL/2001/0/SB0824.HTM

For the 2004 Presidential election (federal election), Fayette County had some 666 Provisional Ballots cast, however, more than have of these ballots were disqualified for a variety of reasons, including the individual was not registered as a valid voter in the state, the county of Fayette, or the precinct in the county of Fayette.

The SURE system was used for the first time during 2004, for both the Primary and General elections.