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Fixing Florida’s Voting Problems – A First Step in the Right Direction

February 2, 2006

February 2, 2007

The State of Florida announced yesterday that it plans to chuck touch-screen voting machines installed throughout Florida after the disputed 2000 presidential election. Florida will switch to a system that involves paper ballots before the 2008 presidential election.

Voting Technology Expert and Brennan Center Counsel Lawrence Norden said, “Florida’s decision is a step in the right direction, but it won’t work to insure the integrity of the vote unless Florida goes further and requires an audit comparing some portion of the paper record to the electronic record after each election.  Adding paper only goes so far and does not eliminate the possibility of software bugs, or programming errors, to say nothing of the possibility of malicious ballot hacking. Taking the next step, by requiring audits, will make the system substantially more secure and help preserve the integrity of each vote cast.”

Related Links

Florida Goes With Paper Trail Voting System (NY Times, 2/2/07)

The Machinery of Democracy: Protecting Elections in an Electronic World – a Brennan Center report on the vulnerabilities of the most commonly purchased voting machines and solutions to those problems.