California mandates e-voting paper trails
But not in time for 2004
The head of California's elections office Kevin Shelley has issued an order that requires touch screen voting machines to produce paper audit trails. Secretary of State Shelley is the man who certifies the States' election results.
Shelley has demanded that the machines vendors must have a "voter verified paper audit trail" or VVPAT, which he defines as "a contemporaneous paper record of a ballot printed for the voter to confirm before the voter casts his or her ballot."
The Secretary of State has given the vendors plenty of time to work with. He has ordered that all new machines purchased after 1 July 2005 must have the functionality, and existing machines must be retrofitted by 1 July 2006.
Earlier this week Shelley reassigned the daughter of a the CEO of Sequoia Voting Systems, an electronic voting machine vendor, from her job certifying e-voting terminals, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
The LA Times reports that several of the department's staff have since moved on to lobby for Sequoia including Shelley's predecessor as Secretary of State, Bill Jones.
A study of Diebold e-voting terminals showed that the systems lacked basic protection against fraud. When correspondence from Diebold staff leaked the company used the DMCA Act to force ISPs to withdraw the documents, claiming the contained copyright information. ®