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Connecticut: Election Integrity Organization Critical of State's Voting Machine RFP PDF  | Print |  Email
By TrueVoteCT   
November 12, 2005
An active exchange has taken place over the past months between the Secretary of State of Connecticut and TrueVoteCT, an election integrity organization in the state. The background is summarized in a recent oped in the Hartford Couran and a series of letters can be viewed at the TrueVoteCT website. The organization recently assembled a report critical of the states RFP for voting technology, the conclusions from which are summarized here. The full report can be downloaded here [PDF].

TrueVoteCT, along with many other computer scientists, local election
officials, voting activists and concerned citizens across the country
have serious reservations about DRE voting machines. DREs are an
immature technology that are expensive to purchase, very costly to run
elections with, very complex and are prone to glitches and errors.
Purchasing DREs at this time is comparable to buying the first PCs to
hit the market. Consumers who purchased these PCs paid top dollar for
inferior technology and replaced them often as the technology improved
and prices came down. This is what the state will be facing if they move
forward with the current plan to purchase DREs. A TrueVoteCT
representative personally spoke to one of the election officials in
Miami-Dade County, the County that has recommended scrapping $24.5
million of DRE voting machines. The Miami-Dade election official said
“any state or municipality that purchases DREs today would have to be
crazy”
.

In 2004, more jurisdictions used optical scan than any other voting
technology, and more ballots were cast using that technology than any
other. Some states, including ones as diverse as Oklahoma and Rhode
Island, have exclusively used optical scan voting systems. Michigan is
now in the process of implementing a statewide optical scan voting
system to replace its DRE voting systems with optical scan. In 2005,
sales of optical scan voting systems have so far outpaced those of DRE
voting systems. Based on the experience that other states have had with
optical scan technology and DREs, TrueVoteCT believes that optical scan
voting machines, with ballot marking devices for the disabled, would
provide the most cost effective and reliable solution for the State of
Connecticut.

We ask you to review the facts about DREs and if you agree that the
State should amend or scrap the current RFP to include an option for
ballot marking devices and optical scan, please contact the Secretary of
the State’s office and let them know. In addition, a letter to the
editor in your local paper would be very helpful in educating the public
about voting machines. Thank you for your consideration on this
extremely important issue.
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