Electronic Voting - A Non-Partisan Issue
Voter-Verifiable Paper Trail Gets Legal Support
ELECTRONIC VOTING
DANGERS of E-VOTING
--- Warnings
--- Democracy at Stake
--- Report from UK
"BLACK BOX VOTING"
--- Work of Bev Harris
------ Get Book Free!
VOTER-VERIFIED PAPER BALLOTS
--- Bev Harris's Sites
Or -- "Voter-Verifiable Paper Trail"
HELP FROM HR 2239
--- Republican Sponsors
--- Legal Support
--- Bev H. Comments
... INTERIM SOLUTION
WHY PRIVATIZE VOTING AT ALL?
WHY NOT RETURN to PAPER BALLOTS?
DIEBOLD WARS
------ Diebold Gives In!
------ Bev H.Comments
--- Diebold for Bush
NOT JUST DIEBOLD
IS eSLATE BETTER?
--- Potential Problems
NEW POSSIBILITY-- VOTING with "FROGS"

Opinion from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel---

Scoop (New Zealand)

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OPINION ON VVPT

(from Kim Alexander)

The United States Department of Justice has issued an opinion, through its Office of Legal Counsel, stating that the inclusion of a voter-verified paper audit trail as a feature for a Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting machine would be consistent with both the Help America Vote Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, so long as the DRE voting system provides a similar opportunity for sight-impaired voters to verify their ballots before those ballots are finally cast.

The opinion is dated October 10 and was issued in response to an August 12th request from California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. It is online at: http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/2003opinions.htm

This opinion is important because many elections officials who support the voter-verified paper trail are concerned that implementing this requirement would invite lawsuits from disability groups claiming the voter-verified paper trail violates the rights of blind voters. This opinion should put to rest those concerns.

Here's the summary:

"A direct recording electronic voting system that produces a contemporaneous paper record, which is not accessible to sight-impaired voters but which allows sighted voters to confirm that their ballots accurately reflect their choices before the system officially records their votes, would be consistent with the Help America Vote Act and with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, so long as the voting system provides a similar opportunity for sight-impaired voters to verify their ballots before those ballots are finally cast."

Here's a great excerpt from the opinion:

"The ability to verify one's ballot before casting it is essential, cf. ァ 15481(a)(1)(A)(i), but the availability of multiple techniques by which to do so is not. Disability accommodations often result in a greater range of methods by which non-disabled persons can accomplish their goals, yet such accommodations are not deemed to deny equal opportunities for disabled persons for that reason alone. Consider a building that provides both a set of stairs and a wheelchair ramp to its outdoor entrance. Non-disabled persons have more means to enter the building (they can use either the stairs or the ramp), while the wheelchair-bound person can use only the ramp. But no one would contend that such a building has deprived disabled persons of the "same opportunity" to access the building. That is because the essential requirement of access -- the ability to get to the front door -- is available to all. The means to achieve that end differ, and non-disabled persons have a greater number of options, but provision of the ramp suffices to provide disabled persons with a similar (though not "identical") opportunity. So too with the DRE voting systems, as you have described them. "

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0311/S00117.htm

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