LEAGUE ISSUES

July 4, 2006


This domain and web site, www.LeagueIssues.ORG, has been set up so that State, Local and Area Leagues, and League members who share the concerns described below can let others know of their concerns, by listing their names, league affiliations (required) and email addresses (for verification). By providing this listing, you will be able to know that you are not acting alone. We are also listing informative reports by Leagues and League members.


The attendees at the 2006 LWV Convention, held June 9-13 in Minneapolis, MN, voted to approve a resolution to strengthen the previous resolution passed in 2004, regarding verifyable paper audit trails for DREs. This resolution is presented below:

Sometime during the week of July 13, 2006, the LWVUS published this resolution on their website.

-- NEWS from the LWV Convention 2006 --

 

-- NEWS from the LWV Convention 2006 --

"CARL" Resolution

as amended and passed at the 2006 Convention of the LWVUS:
(on U.S. Voting Systems Under HAVA)

Whereas: Some LWVs have had difficulty applying the SARA Resolution (Secure, Accurate, Recountable and Accessible) passed at the last Convention, and

Whereas: Paperless electronic voting systems are not inherently secure, can malfunction, and do not provide a recountable audit trail,

Therefore be it resolved that:
The position on the Citizens' Right to Vote be interpreted to affirm that LWVUS supports only voting systems that are designed so that:

1. they employ a voter-verifiable paper ballot or other paper record, said paper being the official record of the voter's intent; and

2. the voter can verify, either by eye or with the aid of suitable devices for those who have impaired vision, that the paper ballot/record accurately reflects his or her intent; and

3. such verification takes place while the voter is still in the process of voting; and

4. the paper ballot/record is used for audits and recounts; and

5. the vote totals can be verified by an independent hand count of the paper ballot/record; and

6. routine audits of the paper ballot/record in randomly selected precincts can be conducted in every election, and the results published by the jurisdiction.


Motion #555, by LWV of Minnesota.
Motion APPROVED by Card Vote: Yes 439, No 269, Illegal 4.


 


The attendees at the 2004 LWV Convention in Washington, DC had overwhelmingly voted to reverse the previous League position on verifyable audit trails for DREs! The exact wording of this previous resolution is presented below:

LWVUS-revision - 2004

LWVUS-revision - 2004

The following is the text of the motion made by the President of the LWV of Minnesota and passed by convention delegates at the LVW convention 2004:

“Whereas there is strong disagreement among League members on the interpretation of the position on ‘Citizen’s Right to Vote’ that the LWVUS has taken on whether a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail should be a requirement with Direct Recording Electronic Voting,

Be it resolved that LWVUS remove the following wording from its interpretation: The LWVUS supports an individual audit capacity for the purposes of recounts and authentication of elections for all voting systems. The LWVUS does not believe that an individual paper confirmation for each ballot is required to achieve these goals. An individual paper confirmation for each ballot would undermine disability access requirements, raise costs and slow down the purchase or lease of machines that might be used to replace machines that don’t work. The experts that we have consulted say that there are many safeguards other than an individual paper ballot confirmation that can protect the sanctity of the ballot and that other issues are far more important in safeguarding our election systems.

The LWVUS interpretation of the position on ‘Citizen’s Right to Vote’ will now read: In order to ensure integrity and voter confidence in elections, the LWVUS supports the implementation of voting systems and procedures that are secure, accurate, recountable, and accessible.”

The LWVUS Board is working through the application of this revised stance and will send additional guidance. In the interim this message should provide an initial basis for a shared understanding among Leagues of the action taken at convention.

 


I wrote about my own experience at the 2004 convention:

This was my first LWVUS convention

WE DID IT!

 

This was my first LWVUS convention. I prepared as best I could. Read through the Workbook which included things like; proposed budget, membership count, reports, convention rules and procedures and nominee information . I also signed up for every workshop. Packed my "Require Recountable Ballot" ribbons, my 125 CD with "Things You Should Know About DREs" and all my short sleeve shirts and was prepared for the convention.

 

So much for early preparation. I never made it to any of the workshops. You don't really know about all the caucuses until you open the convention program. Every day there were  caucuses on DREs from local leagues on the need for recountable paper ballot. In addition there was one from Georgia extolling the perfection of their voting system. The LWVUS sponsored two sessions on why paper ballots were not a good thing.

 

 I spent my time 7:30am - 11:00pm going to caucuses, handing out flyers, buttons and talking to people, strategizing with other leagues about how to present a motion to have LWVUS to change their stance on VVPAT and remain neutral. Theresa Hommel demonstrated the "Fraud O'Matic" voting machine. Our own (Oakland, CA) Natalie Robb came up with the most creative and fun action. She wrote slogans on adding machine tape and made a 300 ft. paper trail pointing from the  LWVUS' session to our caucus. LWVUS had no sense of humor and called security. Barbara Simon and Debbie Nuss shook them up by being nominated from the floor for board members and garnering pretty good totals.

 

 Finally, the vote. The whole ballroom stood up and voted for the motion, only the LWVUS staff and nominees and the Georgia and North Carolina delegation stood up for the no vote. When it passed -- there was a rousing cheer. WE DID IT! Now the official position is that voting machines be secure, accurate, recountable and accessible.

 

This would not have happened without the work done over the year with the league members across the country. We obtained  validation and encouragement from the people on-line who did not agree with the leagues position and worked to change it. LeagueIssues.org got over 900 signatures, more than the number of delegates, asking for the league to remain neutral. You too can be part of this activism with other knowledgeable leaguers by joining LWVtopics.  We discuss other issues besides DREs.

 

The LWVTopics list

 

From the email address you use,  send an email to:
    LWVTopics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Put into the subject line the single word:
    Subscribe

Within a minute you will get am email in your in box with directions to click on the link and complete your subscription. Just follow the directions. I have the summary digest sent to me daily, or you can have them not sent at all and just visit the site on-line to read.

 

Gen Katz

 

 


For the latest Unofficial information about LVWUS Convention 2004, click here

A CD-ROM Some things you should know about DREs has been prepared, and is being handed out at the 2004 LWV Convention in Washington, DC. You may access it here.

  1. Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems: an article in the Bulletin of the League of Women Voters of Winchester, MA. http://www.leagueissues.org/tutorial.html, reproduced by permission of the Steering Committee of the League of Women Voters of Winchester, MA. This report may also be downloaded as an RTF file.
  2. Dr. Barbara Simons: A Response To: The League of Women Voters of the United States Questions and Answers on Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Voting Systems. http://www.leagueissues.org/lwvqa.html
  3. 924 League Members from 35 states who have signed the Open Letter to President Kay Maxwell to retract LWVUS opposition to a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).
  4. 22 Local and Area Leagues from 8 states who have responded to the "In-House Grassroots Lobbying" letter and requested LWVUS to take a neutral stand on Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail.

For your information, we have included web sites for material both in favor of mandatory verified paper trails and against.

*In Favor of mandatory verified paper trails: http://www.verifiedvoting.org
*Opposed to mandatory verified paper trails: http://www.lwv.org


This site was prepared for Genevieve Katz, LWV Oakland, CA. gen@katz.com

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