?NEW PAPER-BASED VOTING SYSTEMS COMING TO PENNSYLVANIA!?
But?all voting systems that use paper are not truly verifiable
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered that by 2020?all voting machines in Pennsylvania must be replaced with voting systems that use paper. That sounds like a great move, but every voting system that creates a paper record is not verifiable by the voter. RIGHT NOW, as you are reading this, vendors and some state officials are pushing our counties to buy expensive touchscreens that print proprietary barcodes on paper. These touchscreen systems count the barcodes rather than using words and marks that the voter saw and verified. And once again the counting will be done by proprietary software owned by the vendors. Outside of a full hand recount, which is rarely required under PA law, there will be no way to catch fraud or machine errors!
Expensive touchscreens are not needed for every voter. A plain fifty-cent pen works just fine for most people to fill in the ovals on a?paper ballot.?All that is required to comply with the Governor's directive and federal law is the paper ballot along with one accessible assistive device?in each precinct?for voters who need help to mark it. In most cases, each voter will insert his or her own ballot into a small, modern digital scanner before leaving the poll. It gets counted right in front of the voter and then is secured in a locked ballot box. This is the gold standard of voting systems right now -- the cheapest, most secure, and most auditable voting method available today.?
We don't want barcodes. We want real paper ballots, marked by the hand of most voters, because every voter should be able to verify his or her choices and we need to be able to meaningfully audit our votes.?Let's save taxpayer money and do this right!
Don't let YOUR county waste tax dollars.?Join VotePA?and learn how you can help.
New Voting Systems to be on Display All Around the State Starting This Week
November 26, 2018?-- The Pennsylvania Department of State has announced five Voting System Expo events at various locations around the state starting this week. This will be an opportunity for many to observe and try the new wares that vendors are offering to meet the new state requirements for paper-based voting. For dates, locations, and more information, go to our NEWS PAGE.
Welcome to VotePA, the statewide non-partisan alliance of groups and individuals fighting for voting rights and election integrity in Pennsylvania. We were formed in early 2005 to work for fair, accurate, and accessible elections for all in the Keystone State. Our special area of expertise is in voting machines and voting systems. We believe that every voter has a right to verify that his or her vote is being recorded and counted as cast, and that elections should be transparent, meaningfully audited, and recountable. We believe in paper ballots over unverifiable electronic or internet voting.
VotePA's members belong to six different political parties, all united by our support for the right of each person to vote in free and equal elections as promised by Pennsylvania's State Constitution.?We educate our fellow citizens about?voting rights and voting systems, research and study, hold seminars and other public events, call and write to our elected officials, run for elected office ourselves, work for the candidates and political parties of our choice, serve as pollworkers, serve as pollwatchers, hold house parties, observe voting machine examinations,?inform the media,?write to our newspapers, lobby for changes in the laws to improve voting, blog, speak out, and most importantly -- WE VOTE.
Pennsylvania is a key swing state that could decide the course of our nation and its history, and we are one of the states at greatest risk for problems with our voting systems and our elections.
The right of each person to vote, and to have that vote counted accurately, is the absolute core of our democracy. Our vote is our voice in our government and way of life. When our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence and formed the U.S. Constitution, they recognized that by voting we as citizens give our government its power.
This right to vote is sacred, purchased through the blood of many patriots over the last two hundred and thirty years. People have laid down their lives for our right to vote, both soldiers on the battlefield and ordinary citizens in places like the Pettus Bridge at Selma, Alabama.
In a time when we claim to be delivering democracy around the globe we must make certain that we uphold the most democratic values here at home. But sadly, recent elections have shown that our American right to vote may be in danger. Miscounts, lost votes, courts deciding elections rather than voters, and declining voter participation are all signs that the American electoral system is in deep trouble. ?[MORE]
Did your county have trouble with voting machines in the Election?
Many counties around the state reported problems on November 6.?Touchscreens were flipping votes, out of calibration,?power?went out, and in some?places?not enough emergency or provisional ballots were supplied.
Pennsylvania's?electronic voting machines are all at least 13 years old, or older.??These ancient touchscreen and pushbutton voting machines are wearing out. For many of?them?parts are getting hard to find. In the last Presidential Election, paperless voting machines reportedly switched votes from one candidate to the other on their screens, and there were other problems and failures. Worst of all, these paperless voting systems?cannot be audited without using their own software.?If something is corrupted in that software, we could have the wrong results -- and we'll never know.
It is time. Time to replace these old touchscreen and pushbutton dinosaurs with real paper ballots, marked by hand in most cases, with accessible assistive devices for voters who need them.