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Congress Urged to Address Security and Reliability of Voting Machines

May 7, 2007

May 7, 2007

Today the Brennan Centers Lawrence Norden testified before a field hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing, held in New York City, brought together election administrators and experts to discuss the certification and testing of electronic voting systems. Norden urged Congress to take steps to address the crisis in public confidence in the voting systems most widely used across our nation and the certification and use of voting systems with serious security, accuracy and reliability flaws.

He called on Congress to adopt standards that would require jurisdictions around the country to adopt basic security and reliability standards for voting machines already in use including regular post-election audits and a ban on most wireless components on voting machines

Norden also urged Congress to improve the process for federally certifying voting machines. As he told the committee, it is clear that for the last several years, the accreditation and certification process for voting machines has been flawed. To fix the most serious flaws, he urged the committee to focus on transparency and eliminating real or perceived conflicts of interest that could put the integrity of the vote at risk. Norded urged the Committee to take steps to ensure that voting system testing laboratories are truly independent of the companies that manufacture and sell voting machines and related technology and for the federal Election Assistance Commission to make public test plans, data from voting machine vendors, and test reports from labs.

The Brennan Centers full testimony is available on line here.