BY Local and Area Leagues TO Local and Area Leagues.
January 10, 2004
To: Local and Area Leagues of Women Voters
From: Local Leagues and Members Concerned about Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails for Ballots
Dear Local and Area League Board and Members:
We are writing to your League with an urgent request. For some months now, League members across the United States have expressed their concern about the stance our National League Board has taken in opposition to a verified voter paper audit trail (VVPAT) for ballots. As more and more evidence is brought to bear, it is obvious there are serious security problems with direct recording electronic (DRE) voting equipment that provides no means to verify individual votes.
National League -- on their Web site and in public statements -- has taken the position that there are factors that outweigh the ability to provide sufficient vote security. However, the League of Women Voters does not have a position statement on electronic voting equipment; has undertaken no studies; nor attempted to determine member consensus.
The National Board has been interpreting League Principles and convention affirmations that encourage broad voter access, but are doing so in a manner that will ultimately strike at the core of democracy -- the right of the individual vote to be confirmed. How do you register more people to vote if they do not trust their vote to be properly recorded?
Although it is the role of League boards at all levels to interpret League positions and principles, LWV guidelines advise that action to implement comes from determination that member understanding and agreement exist and the action is appropriate. [Impact on Issues, "Principles," p. 71] It is becoming increasingly clear that there is no member consensus for the LWVUS Board's interpretation of Voting Rights that led to opposition of paper verification.
We are asking you to write to the national League board immediately and express that they drop their public stance that an individual paper confirmation for each ballot "is unnecessary and can be counterproductive" and that they adopt a stance of neutrality until member consensus is established. The address is: LWVUS, 1730 M Street, Suite 1000, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-4508
Thank you for your attention to this matter. It is not overly dramatic to say the reputation of the League of Women Voters is at stake -- as well as the foundation of the democracy in which we live.
Signed (alphabetical by state):
League of Women Voters of El Dorado, CA
League of Women Voters of Los Altos-Mountain View, CA
League of Women Voters of San Joaquin County, CA
League of Women Voters of Space Coast, Brevard County, FL
League of Women Voters of Arlington, MA
League of Women Voters of Marblehead, MA
League of Women Voters of Los Alamos, NM
There are currently 16 leagues from 8 states, who have joined this lobbying. You can see these and add your own league to the list by clicking here.
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
*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