Doesn't Trust Electronic Voting

RECEIVED Fri., Aug. 29, 2008

Dear Chronicle,
    Re: “E-Voting Machines Take Over” [“Naked City,” News, Aug. 29]: Thank you for covering VoteRescue’s opposition to the purchase of more eSlate electronic voting machines at the Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
    You are correct that we have been repeating the same points ad nauseam before, like for five years now. The machines are hackable. There is no way to determine if election fraud has occurred in Travis County precisely because computer programmers can easily design vote-flipping software that is undetectable. That is the point.
    Based on this fact, we do not trust our votes on machines that count in secret. Reams of evidence supporting our concerns have been delivered to numerous election officials for years. The Travis County Commissioners Court is responsible for the selection and purchase of voting systems used in our county, hence our visit regarding the purchase of even more hackable e-voting machines.
    The judge wants to hear something new and different. How about the fact that other states are dropping direct recording electronics in favor of paper ballots? How about the fact that the Secretary of State office issued a directive in 2006, days before an election, and recommended emergency paper ballots and that they be hand counted according to current Texas Election Code? This fact counters the judge’s claim that there is not enough time to make changes before the November election.
    Thank goodness for Commissioner Ron Davis, who obviously understood our concerns and added a friendly amendment to have a citizen panel on the subject of how we count the votes. VoteRescue is looking forward to a seat at that table. Stay tuned.
Jenny Clark
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