Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Press Release: Voter Confidence Committee To Conduct Parallel Election on Nov. 8

Media Contact:
Dave Berman, Voter Confidence Committee

Nov. 1, 2005

Local Citizens'’ Group To Monitor Special Election

The Voter Confidence Committee of Humboldt County (VCC) will be conducting a "“Parallel Election"” on November 8th to help verify the tally of official votes cast on electronic voting machines containing trade-secret ("proprietary"”) software that is kept hidden from election officials and the public at large.

"Voters in some precincts may be asked to cast a second unofficial vote outside their official voting places immediately after casting their vote on Diebold election machines,"” explained VCC principal Dave Berman. "“This will allow for statistical comparisons between the second set of vote totals and the official count."

Diebold has been under heavy scrutiny for alleged employment of felons, internal memos discussing programming loopholes, partisan fundraising activities of executives and dozens of examples of vote tally discrepancies. On July 29, 2005, California refused to certify Diebold's TSx machines. Humboldt County elections use Diebold'’s Accu-Vote machines and GEMS software.

Although California did pass a law requiring a verified paper trail for all electronic voting machines, it will not go into effect until 2006. According to an October 28, 2005 press release at www.calvoter.org, voters in nine California counties will vote on paperless electronic voting machines in the Nov. 8th Special Election. Such conditions ensure an inconclusive outcome by eliminating the ability to recount ballots to verify that they are counted as voters intended.

The VCC has become part of a rapidly developing network of election reform and watchdog groups through the U.S. In the past six months, Parallel Elections have been held in Florida, Ohio and San Diego, CA.

"We'’ve been making some amazing contacts and the cooperation has been great," Berman said. "You can learn everything you need to know about how to run a Parallel Election by visiting www.studycaliforniaballots.org."

The VCC is looking for volunteers to enable the Parallel Election to cover more polling places (contact Dave Berman at 707-845-3749 or blog@guvwurld.org). Selected poll sites will be announced on Election Day. After the polls close, Parallel ballots will be counted by hand, in public, at a location also announced on Election Day. Participation rates in recent Parallel Elections have exceeded 50%. Voter participation is voluntary.

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Media contact:
Dave Berman

For more information on the VCC, visit www.voterconfidencecommittee.org or attend the group'’s weekly open meetings, Mondays at 6pm, at the Liquid Cafe in Eureka'’s Burre Center.



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