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National Issues

New Report Shows 17 States at High Risk For Compromised Election Results PDF  | Print |  Email
By Common Cause Press Release   
June 23, 2006

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A new report released Thursday by Common Cause concludes that the push to use direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines was misguided, has resulted in serious security and reliability concerns, and should be reversed. The report also assesses states at greatest risk of having elections compromised due to problems with voting machines, presents information on voting systems used by each state and makes recommendations on safeguarding votes to citizens who must use a DRE in November.


"With nearly 40 percent of voters in 37 states expected cast ballots on DRE voting machines in less than five months, Congress needs to stop ignoring the problems and take action to assure that citizens votes are counted as cast," said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree. "We need legislation passed that would mandate random manual election audits of voting machines and require voter-verified paper trails, and citizens need to come to the polls knowing how to safeguard their vote."

The report, "Malfunction and Malfeasance: A Report on the Electronic Voting Machine Debacle," finds that 17 states, including critical swing states such as Pennsylvania, are at "high" risk of having election results compromised due
to problems with voting machines known as DREs. States designated as high risk because they use DREs with no paper backup are: Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.


Twenty-three states are at mid-level risk of having election results compromised. Those states use a voter-verified paper trail, but do not conduct manual audits. Eleven states are at "low" risk for a compromised election because
they require mandatory audits and use voting systems that have a voter verified paper ballot.


The report also presents information on voting systems used by each state, reviews the political circumstances that led to the popularity of electronic voting machines known as DREs, and details the security and reliability problems
posed by DREs. It offers eight recommendations to Congress, states, and citizens on how to safeguard our voting.

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