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Utah Count Votes!

Information about Utah's process for selecting voting equipment to help you make sure that "Utah Counts Votes"

Background: The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requires that voting equipment permit persons with disabilities to vote in private. This means that computerized voting systems must be used if Utah is to receive HAVA funds. Computerized voting systems can also use multiple languages, count votes and print paper ballots for easy recounts by optical scan systems.

Eight reasons to set aside Utah’s current RFP for selecting voting equipment:

  1. “To err is human; to really foul things up requires a computer.”
    Most of Today's Computer Voting Machines are unacceptable and error-prone:
  2. Legal suits in America caused by computerized voting systems have included counties suing states, states and counties suing voting machine vendors, individuals suing counties and states. (Electronic Frontier Foundation www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/ and www.VerifiedVoting.org/legal/)
  3. Utah’s Current RFP for voting equipment is irretrievably flawed: (See http://www.utahcountvotes.org/summary_response.php )
  4. Existing national standards for voting machines are voluntary, out-dated , and often not met by voting machine vendors, and the new national standards won’t be set until June 2005. (See http://www.nased.org http://www.fec.gov/pages/vssfinal/vss.html http://www.eac.gov )
  5. The ITA (independent testing authority) process of certifying voting equipment has been discredited. ITAs have made glowing reports of voting machines which later have been discovered to have glaring security flaws and have been de-certified by states. Voting machine vendors pay the ITAs to certify their equipment which may be a conflict of interest.
  6. Utah used Georgia’s RFP, as an initial template for its own RFP. Georgia is where the scandal regarding computerized voting machine problems originally broke and inspired me to follow this issue. ( UtahCountVotes.org/The_Georgia_Experience.php ).
  7. Utah’s current RFP hastily rushes Utah into purchasing voting machines before the end of this Governor’s administration, without giving
  8. Utah received only two bids from DRE-style voting machine vendors, Diebold and ES&S, in response to its RFP. Both the Utah State Plan on Election Reform and Utah's first July 9th RFP for voting equipment require DREs, thus discouraging submissions by other voting systems vendors that meet HAVA's accessibility requirements, simply because they are not defined as DREs. A partial list of problems with Diebold and ES&S voting machines are available at VotersUnite.org

The question is: “What equipment should we adopt to make sure that every vote is counted, and counted the way the voter intended?”

Utah has always had good honest voting systems. Let's keep it that way. Utah can lead America with the best voting system in the entire United States, IF its current RFP process is halted and restarted with the advice and help of Utah’s computer science community, and on a time schedule that allows for R&D and new vendor bid proposal submissions. Democracy demands no less. Utahns can design and build a voting system superior to any currently available; provide economic benefit and opportunity in Utah; and show America how to implement a vastly better voting system.

UTAH Voting & Elections Systems (UVES) Concept for Proposal, utahcountvotes.org/UVES_concept_proposal.php, is a win-win proposition. Utah Voters win. Utah computer scientists win. The Utah economy wins. Utah taxpayers win. American democracy wins.

Utah can show America how to conduct elections systems the right way!


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