Friday, April 25, 2008

Lancaster should junk voting machines without verifiable paper trail

The following is excerpted from

The entire premise of technology-based elections is based on support for the "verifiable voting" concept. But before designing technology for elections, we must first determine how it will empower citizen controls, enabling the counting of votes in public rather than counting them in secret. We do not consent to any form of secret vote counting, administered and controlled by government insiders and their vendors.

Any system that forces the citizenry to trust government insiders to count their votes represents a change in the original design of this nation. The United States of America was designed to uphold the right of citizen sovereignty over the government. In addition to hiding the counting of votes from public view, computer-counted elections hide the chain of custody of the vote data. Citizens are never allowed to view the original input in order to compare it to the output, and are relegated to trusting circumstantial evidence controlled by insiders. Such a system is, in fact, a transfer of power...

The core of elections was and again must return to the principle of citizen sovereignty over government. Elections can never be based on a requirement to trust government insiders and their vendors to count our votes, nor can elections be dependent on experts to tell the citizenry that the system is okay, nor should the detailed mechanics of elections be impossible for the average citizen to understand. Models which depend on experts and insiders create centralized control, and remove all control from government's rightful owners – the citizens. This represents a violation of the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence.