E-voting audit guidelines released

Common Cause, Verified Voting, the Brennan Center for Justice and other fair elections advocacy groups are calling on states that use electronic voting systems to mandate post-election auditing of touch-screen voting machines and optical scan systems, according to a report from NetworkWorld.

To that end, the coalition of fair elections advocates this month released a set of guidelines, titled "Principles and Best Practices for Post-Election Audits," that aim to:
  • Reveal when recounts are necessary to verify election outcomes
  • Find error whether accidental or intentional
  • Deter fraud
  • Provide for continuous improvement in the conduct of elections and
  • Promote public confidence in elections.

The issue of security and reliability in electronic systems ballooned since the disputed presidential election of 2000, in which Florida paper and punch ballots were disputed. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandated accessibility for voters, and state and local officials began adopting new technology to meet these requirements.

Yet electronic systems costing millions of dollars have been decertified in a number of states due to security concerns, and the scramble is on to find a way to vote that will ensure the privacy and security of each vote cast.

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