✅ Support hand-marked paper ballots for all voters able to mark by hand, and well-maintained ballot-marking devices (BMDs) for voters with disabilities.
✅ Make sure that ballot-marking devices can print ballots - but don't count them (non-tabulating ballot marking devices.) Remember that if a voting machine can mark your ballot and count your ballot - it doesn't need you - it can vote on it's own!
✅ Voters with disabilities have a right to vote privately, independently and securely. There are ballot-marking devices that do that, like this one from Hart called the Verity Touch Writer. It has the ability to print a paper ballot for voters with disabilities that is identical to a hand-marked paper ballot, preserving the secrecy of the voter's choices.
✅ There are also systems to help voters with disabilities vote-by-mail, like this system from Five Cedars. There is no need for all voters to use ballot-marking devices to vote.
⛔ Reject risky “hybrid” all-in-one voting machines:
ES&S ExpressVote XL
Dominion Image Cast Evolution (ICE)
Express Vote Hybrid
⛔ Reject touch screen voting machines:
ES&S Express Vote
⛔ Reject counting votes with barcodes:
Scanners that are used to count hand-marked paper ballots, can also be hacked - but hand-marked paper ballots can be checked with an audit, and if the scanners have been hacked, or made an error, it can be detected.
When the paper ballot is printed by a machine, the machine may change the votes on the paper ballot, so the election can no longer be audited meaningfully. Those paper ballots can be counted - but there can never be full confidence that the results are correct.
Security experts recommend hand-marked paper ballots (for all voters able to mark by hand), strong chain of custody, and a robust public post-election audit - either a risk-limiting audit or a full hand-count audit - prior to certification. This system give full confidence that the results truly reflect the will of the voters.
Photo here is of a full hand-count audit in Columbia County, New York
Multiple studies have shown that hand-marked paper ballot systems are two to three times less expensive for jurisdictions than ballot-marking devices. In this actual bid from a vendor, a hand-marked paper ballot system for the state of Georgia is estimated to cost approximately 25 million, but ballot-marking devices for use by most voters is estimated at over 100 million with maintenance costs. (bid courtesy of VoterGA.)
Touchscreen machines create longer lines than hand-marked paper ballots because each voter must vote at the terminal, as voters pile up. With hand-marked paper ballots, most voters can mark their ballot simultaneously and then quickly feed the ballots into a scanner or secure ballot box. Los Angeles County is a good example of how touch screen systems create long lines. In the first election with their new 280 million dollar touchscreen system, lines were estimated at two hours long.
(photo by Reed Saxon AP.)
Security experts recommend hand-marked paper ballots for most voters, and non-tabulating ballot-marking devices (BMD’s) for voters with disabilities. Hand-marked paper ballot systems are more secure, less expensive and faster for voters to use.
Some “hybrid” voting machines merge a scanner and a BMD printer into the same path. Security experts say these hybrids can be hacked to add fake votes to paper ballots, and they do not recommend them.
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