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Gonzales Poll Finds MD Voters Favor Funding Switch to Paper Ballots 2 to 1
October 23, 2007: News Release
As the state legislature prepares for a special budget session next week, a new poll released today shows overwhelming support among Maryland voters for funding the switch away from paperless electronic voting machines. Conducted by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies last week, the telephone survey found 64% of voters statewide think Gov. O’Malley should fund the change from touch-screen machines to a system that uses paper ballots counted by optical scanners.

Governor O'Malley signs voting paper trail bill:
New, less expensive system will allow for recounts

May 17, 2007 - SOV News Release
Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation Thursday that calls for replacing Maryland’s paperless touch-screen voting system with a system that will provide a paper record to allow for recounts of close races. The “Voter-Verifiable Paper Records” bill, SB 392, was sponsored by Senator Edward Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore and Howard Counties) and passed the Senate unanimously. A companion bill, HB18, sponsored by Delegate Sheila Hixson (D-Montgomery County) passed the House unanimously both last year and this year. The transition will occur before the 2010 elections. [PRINTABLE PDF]

Another Voting Glitch
Nov. 26, 2007 - Baltimore Sun editorial
The Baltimore Sun editorial board urged Governor O'Malley to fund the switch to optical scan voting in Maryland in the upcoming budget.  While the Sun is right to be cautious about the use of any computers in our election process, their worries about accessibility are not warranted.  A key component of the latest optical scan voting systems is a ballot marking machine that accomodates a greater range of disabilities than our present paperless touchscreen system.  With all votes recorded on paper ballots, the new optical scan system will allow us to recover from computer malfunctions and verify the accuracy of all election results with proper auditing.  The present system lacks both of these attributes...

Take action now to support funding for the change to paper ballots in the governor’s proposed budget.

Do the Math: The Real Costs of Maryland’s Voting System
A SAVEourVotes Report for the Special Session
Maryland currently uses the most expensive type of voting system available — touch-screen Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines. In Fiscal Year 2000, when most of Maryland’s counties used optical scan voting systems, the State Board of Elections’ annual budget was about $3.1 million. By FY2007, with the touch-screen voting system in place statewide, the SBE’s annual budget had skyrocketed to $29.5 million — nearly 10 times the cost of the previous system! And the cost is still rising...

Budget Cuts Put New Voting System for MD in Question
Nov. 6, 2007 - WBOC-TV 16
A legislative subcommittee mulling budget cuts on Tuesday to address a state shortfall considered cutting $3.3 million from the State Board of Elections. That money was to be used to change the current voting system to one that uses paper ballots. See story

Database Glitch Complicates Rockville Elections
Nov. 6, 2007 - Washington Post article and Avi Rubin’s blog
Thousands of residents who had not yet voted were mistakenly listed as having already cast absentee ballots because of a state database problem. The State Board of Elections, which prepares the voter database, took the blame for the problem, which affected about 11 percent of Rockville's 29,000 registered voters.

Gov. O'Malley pledges to "do everything in my power" to fund Paper Ballots
September 6, 2007 - WYPR Radio, Baltimore, MD
Sept. 6 on the Marc Steiner Show on WYPR radio,
Gov. O'Malley responded to a phoned-in question from SAVE Our Votes' Mike Berla with a renewed commitment to keep his promise to protect democracy in Maryland.
     SAVEourVotes news release
     • Download the excerpt in MP3 format
     • Listen to the whole show

Report gives paper ballot system high marks:
New CalTech/MIT study shows 80% of New Mexico voters rated their voting experience as excellent or good.
August 21, 2007 - New Mexico Business Weekly
New Mexico is the first state to move from a predominantly electronic voting system to a single, durable, paper ballot system statewide using optical scanners. "Our experience clearly demonstrates that states can transition to paper ballots in less than a year and conduct accurate and transparent elections," said Gov. Bill Richardson.

Dan Rather reports on the trouble with touchscreens: New TV documentary also uncovers startling revelations about Florida’s hanging chads
August 2007
This Show documents the production of the faulty voting equipment that lost 18,000 votes in Sarasota County, FL last fall and also uncovers evidence suggesting that Florida’s hanging chads in the 2000 election may not have been accidental.
Watch the hour-long video
— Read the transcript, which includes some information cut from the video.
More Documents
Sign the petition for a full Congressional investigation

Fixing the thinking about reforming elections
SAVEourVotes responds to a Washington Post editorial against HR 811

August 19, 2007 - SOV Letter

California decertifies electronic voting systems:
Citing insurmountable security vulnerabilities, Secretary of State disallows use of most touch-screen machines in February primary elections

August 3, 2007 - SOV Release
In a late-night press conference convened just before the midnight deadline for voting system changes before next spring’s primary election, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced widespread decertification of most types of electronic voting equipment used in California. Bowen decertified Diebold TSX touchscreen voting systems (among other DREs) used in California, then recertified them with the proviso that all votes on these machines be tallied by hand-counting the TSX "paper trail" printouts along with absentee ballots.
     SAVEourVotes news release
     SAVEourVotes statement
     California State release

Troubles at Diebold: Spin-off of elections division;
Massive stock dumping by corporate officers election unit spins off from corporate parent, becomes 'Premier Election Solutions' after failure to find buyer for failing unit!  Is full bankruptcy far behind?

August 16, 2007 - BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman
After a year and a half of conversely trying to dump their failed voting unit and/or lying to customers about the reliability and security of their voting systems, corporate parent Diebold is giving up the ghost of its election business which, according to an analyst in a Reuters report, was "responsible for less than 10 percent of Diebold's revenue, and 100 percent of its bad publicity."

Diebold Executives Under Investigation for Insider Trading?
Mass Sell-Off by Company Officers Occurs Simultaneously Just Days Prior to Stock Price Plunge, Announcement of Jettisoning of Election Division

August 16, 2007 - BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman
On a recent Tuesday in August, several days after California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's pronouncement of decertification and then new, restrictive recertification of Diebold, Inc., voting systems, ten officers of the company simultaneously sold off some 10,379 shares of stock at a near 52-week high for the troubled company.

Ethics Commission asked to investigate Montgomery County Election Director; Appearance in Diebold marketing brochure is possible violation of law
July 7, 2007, SOV News Release
In a letter dated July 2, 2007, SAVE Our Votes, a non-partisan citizen organization working for verifiable elections in Maryland, called on the Montgomery County Ethics Commission to investigate the appearance of County Election Director, Margaret Jurgensen, in a Diebold Election Systems marketing brochure. Ms. Jurgensen’s photo appears in the brochure along with comments praising the Diebold voting stations that have been used in Montgomery County since 2002...

Sanction of touch-screen voting machines under review
July 8, 2007, Washington Post
Montgomery County's ethics commission has agreed to look into the propriety of a four-year-old endorsement by county elections chief Margaret Jurgensen of touch-screen voting machines produced by Diebold Election Systems...

More election officials in Diebold sales literature
Wired News, July 6, 2007
Maryland's Linda Lamone isn't the only election official appearing in literature to market Diebold voting systems (see this post from last week). Another, older, brochure has surfaced featuring photos and quotes from four other current and former election officials from Maryland and other states...

Pitching at the polls 
June 29, 2007, Baltimore Sun
We would hazard a guess that the average Maryland voter doesn't have all that high an opinion of Diebold Election Systems Inc. Oh, the company's election ...,0,4294464.story?coll=bal-opinion-headlines

Our Say: Lamone's sales pitch for electronic voting a blunder
July 1, 2007, Annapolis Capital
What was Linda Lamone, the state elections administrator, thinking
when she allowed her glowing testimonial to Diebold Election Systems
to be used in a sales brochure for the company?

Diebold drops Lamone brochure
June 29, 2007, Baltimore Sun
Diebold Election Systems withdrew a sales brochure yesterday featuring Maryland Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone praising the company's equipment after the governor and watchdog groups questioned whether the endorsement violated state ethics laws. Diebold labeled the glossy, four-page brochure a "case study" of Maryland's experience with the ExpressPoll-5000 voter check-in equipment, which made its national debut in the state last year. The marketing piece was distributed to potential clients at trade shows.,0,2353866.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

Diebold withdraws controversial brochure
June 29, 2007, Associated Press, Annapolis [Diebold Brochure PDF]
Diebold Election Systems yesterday withdrew a sales brochure featuring Maryland Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone... a conflict of interest.

Elections chief backs out of Diebold promotion
June 26, 2007, Washington Post [Diebold Brochure PDF]
Lamone answers to a five-member board appointed by the governor and has far-reaching authority over Maryland's local election boards. SaveOurVotes filed a complaint.

Election official criticized over ad
June 28, 2007, Baltimore Sun (front page) [Diebold Brochure PDF]
Now Lamone is coming under criticism from Gov. Martin O'Malley, state legislators and others for essentially helping to promote Diebold's equipment, though she was not paid. "On its surface, this raises concern about lending the prestige of office to a private company," O'Malley spokesman Steve Kearney said...,0,5115375.story

State elections administrator Lamone featured in Diebold marketing brochure
June 26, 2007,, by Kim Zetter [Diebold Brochure PDF]
Robert Hahn, general counsel for Maryland's State Ethics Commission, said that impartiality in carrying out duties is a factor in how the public views whether a state agency is "acting in a fair and responsible manner." ... Hahn wouldn't comment on whether he felt Lamone's actions violated that public trust but pointed Wired News to a section of the state's ethics law that prohibits the misuse of a state office for the benefit of a state employee or a third party, such as a vendor.

New, less expensive system allows for recounts

SOV News Release, May 17, 2007
Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation Thursday that calls for replacing Maryland’s paperless touch-screen voting system with a system that will provide a paper record to allow for recounts of close races. The “Voter-Verifiable Paper Records” bill, SB 392, was sponsored by Senator Edward Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore and Howard Counties) and passed the Senate unanimously. A companion bill, HB18, sponsored by Delegate Sheila Hixson (D-Montgomery County) passed the House unanimously both last year and this year. The transition will occur before the 2010 elections. [PRINTABLE PDF]

SOV presents certificate to De. Sheila Hixson (center)SAVEourVotes presents certificates to Del. Sheila Hixson, Speaker Michael Busch
April 22, 2007 - SOV co-director, Rebecca Wilson (right in this photo), gave the awards April 22 to Hixson (center) for her dedicated sponsorship and to Maryland's Speaker of the House, Michael Busch (left), for his support of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail bill that passed the House unanimously and became law. The presentation was made at the 20th District Democratic Breakfast Club honoring Busch. See the full report and certificate.

Testimony, U.S. House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives
April 18, 2007, By Avi Rubin, Johns Hopkins University, President of Independent Security Evaluators and author of "Brave New Ballot" (2006)

This written testimony was presented at a hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives on April 18, 2007. Dr. Rubin reported that all of the studies assessing the security of the Diebold DRE, found serious security problems. The media covered these studies, and public sentiment began to shift away from the use of these machines. Also, awareness was raised that these machines cannot perform recounts, be audited, or recover from many different kinds of failures.

Docs point to E-voting bug in contested race
April 17, 2007,, by Kim Zetter
Symptoms consistent with a known software flaw in a popular electronic voting machine surfaced widely in a controversial election in Sarasota County, Florida, last November, despite county officials' claims that a bug played no role in the election results, according to documents obtained by Wired News. Activists say the flaw might have contributed to the high number of lost or uncast votes in a now-contested congressional race.

Legislators act to keep vote count accurate
April 12, 2007 - By Mike Himowitz, The Baltimore Sun
Although election officials who bought electronic systems have tried to write off critics as kooks and subversives, the tide has turned. Organizations such as TrueVoteMD and SaveOurVotes have done a classic job of organizing community support. Ordinary citizens and legislators are listening and acting. Maryland's legislation now calls for a sensible, hybrid voting system. Wisely, it rejects the notion of creating a paper record of an electronic vote by attaching a printer with a roll of paper to a touch-screen terminal. This would just add another layer of technology that could fail on Election Day.

Senate OKs paper-trail votes:
Measure would require new voting machines, system by 2010, but cost of scanner equipment may prove an inhibiting factor

April 7, 2007, The Baltimore Sun, By Melissa Harris

The Maryland Senate unanimously approved a bill Friday that would require the state to scrap its $65 million electronic-voting system and switch to new machines that have a paper record. If the bill wins final approval and is signed by the governor, voters would not use the new optical-scan equipment until the 2010 election. The measure is contingent on state funding, and the new system is projected to cost $18 million to $20 million.

Good News from Maryland
Avi Rubin's Blog, Posted April 6, by Dr. Avi Rubin
What a sudden turnaround. The Maryland Senate just passed a paper ballot bill. I have heard from several people (including a comment posted on my previous blog entry) and one reporter, but I have not yet tracked down the text of the new ...

Senate revives bill for paper ballots  
The Baltimore Sun, Capitol Notebook, April 6, 2007
The Maryland Senate revived yesterday a bill that would require voters to cast paper ballots and enable meaningful recounts in close elections. The bill, which received preliminary approval from the Senate yesterday, essentially would scrap the state's existing high-tech computers, which operate much like ATMs but do not produce paper receipts.

Bill on Voting Paper Trail gets new life in Senate
The Washington Post, Annapolis Notebook, Friday, April 6, 2007; B05

The Maryland Senate revived a bill that would require electronic voting machines to produce paper records in the last days of the legislative session. The bill, which would go into effect for the 2010 elections, is contingent upon funds being made available by lawmakers and the governor in two years.

Living wage bill moves ahead in Maryland
April 5, 2007, Washington Times, By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press Writer
Senators moved ahead Wednesday on a separate, but similar, bill to the version recommitted March 26, that would require paper ballot records by the 2010 election.

Vote trail hits dead end in Senate
Bill to require paper records has likely failed

By Jennifer Skalka, The Baltimore Sun, March 27, 2007
The Maryland Senate effectively sank a bill yesterday that would have required voting machines to generate a paper record that could be reviewed prior to election results being certified as official..."This is obviously a ploy to kill any hope of getting it done in time for an election," said Del. Sheila E. Hixson, the Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored a House version of the bill.

Election chief's standards could effectively end e-voting in state
March 27, 2007
- InsideBayArea, by Ian Hoffman
California's elections chief is proposing the toughest standards for voting systems in the country, so tough that they could banish ATM-like touch-screen voting machines from the state. For the first time, California is demanding the right to try hacking every voting machine with "red teams" of computer experts and to study the software inside the machines, line-by-line, for security holes. The proposals are the first step toward fulfilling a promise that Secretary of State Debra Bowen made during her 2006 election campaign to perform a "top-to-bottom" review of all voting machinery used in California. "Debra Bowen is holding up voting machines to the standards they deserve," said Avi Rubin, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University...

"The Right to Count: Democracy v. Electronic Voting"
- A documentary by Richard Van Slyke

OpEdNews, March 26, 2007, by Joan Brunwasser, Voting Integrity Editor

The latest to come out regarding the Sarasota "lost 18,000" is pretty shocking, even for someone as jaded as I am. Apparently, ES&S sent a letter to the chief of the state's Bureau of Voting Systems Certifications laying out the parameters by which the state should conduct the audit of ES&S's own machines. Talk about the fox in the chicken coop! Here is the link to the article:

Unanimous vote for scanners, paper ballots - NYC Council runs from the idea of elections using electronic touch screen voting
March 23, 2007 -, By Helen Klein

The New York City Council has overwhelmingly declared its preference for optical scanners and paper ballots to replace the city’s venerable lever voting machines which must be retired under federal law... The resolution, which is non-binding, urges the city’s Board of Elections to eschew touch screen computer voting (DREs, or direct recording electronic) in favor of optical scan technology both because it is more user-friendly and because it is more secure.

Electronic ballot backup clears Maryland House
March 22, 2007 - The Washington Post
Paper Trail Voting Bill Advances
March 21, 2007 - The Annapolis Capital, AP & Fox 21 TV
HB18 has passed unanimously in the House of Delegates. Senate action is expected soon. Please revisit this site for regular updates and more details.

Why audits are necessary
March 20, 2007 - By Ion Sancho, Supervisor of Elections, Leon County, Fla.
"Opponents to mandatory audits may cite increased costs and a lack of time as reasons against mandating audits. All I can tell the critics is look at Florida. Today, the lack of trust in our election procedures, the lack of trust in our election administration is too high a price to pay."

Is Diebold poised to quit the E-voting business?
March 4, 2007, Associated Press, By M.R. Kropko
CLEVELAND (AP) - Diebold Inc. saw great potential in the modernization of elections equipment. Now, analysts say, executives may be angling for ways to dump its e-voting subsidiary that's widely seen as tarnishing the company's reputation.

Touch-screen voting still an act of faith [3 letters]
March 4, 2007 - The Baltimore Sun
Three letters countering the Feb. 26 commentary by Donald F. Norris and Paul S. Herrnson, "Don't replace voting system". The first notes, "We simply do not know how the system has performed because we cannot audit or recount the results. Paperless touch-screen voting is a faith-based system."

Robert Antonetti, Prince George's County elections chief dies
February 28, 2007 - The Washington Post
Robert J. Antonetti Sr., 70, the chief administrator of election boards in Prince George's and Howard counties, died Feb. 24 after a heart attack. Antonetti was a  controversial and outspoken advocate of election security and voter protection.

MD: Voting reform seen unlikely until 2010; Miller cites state budget problems
   February 2, 2007 - The Baltimore Sun 
Legislators warming to early vote; creation of paper trail for ballots also gaining support
  February 2, 2007 - The Washington Post
Top legislative leaders agreed in a hearing Feb. 1 of the House Ways and Means Commitee on HB-18 that the state Constitution needs to be amended to allow early voting and that Maryland needs to supplement its electronic voting system with a paper trail for each vote. A bill could pass this session, but Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said a lack of funding and limitations in technology might make it difficult to fully implement changes....

3 SOV members testify at HB-18 hearing  HB-18 hearing
SOV members testify on the need for paper ballots and optical scanning to a packed
room at the Maryland House Ways and Means Commitee hearing on HB-18 Feb. 1.

MD: House bill to require paper trail for voters
   January 13, 2007 - The Baltimore Sun 
Election paper trail bill on House agenda
   January 13, 2007 - The Capital - Annapolis
Del. Sheila Hixson, Montgomery County, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, introduced a bill Jan. 12 that would enable voters to review a paper record of their choices before their ballots become official and ensure the accuracy of future elections. The integrity and accuracy of state elections has been an issue ever since Maryland switched to touch-screen voting machines, which are susceptible to fraud and failure. Last November, voting machines in Sarasota County, Fla., did not register the choices of 18,000 voters....

MD: Prince George's County:
Two-thirds of precincts were short on machines
   January 13, 2007 - The Washington Post
Election chief says Prince George's was short on voting machines
   January 13, 2007 - The Baltimore Sun
Only one-third of the 206 voting precincts in Prince George's County were provided with as many voting machines as required by law last Election Day, a failure that caused long lines frustrating, angering voters, and forcing many to leave without casting their ballots. At the University of Maryland, for example, one voting station was supposed to have 12 machines but was provided with four. Students did not finish voting until 2 1/2 hours after the polls closed. State law requires one machine for every 200 registered voters....

Election tech company under scrutiny:
Ciber temporarily blocked from testing

   Jan. 5, The Baltimore Sun
A Colorado-based company that has performed a critical check on Maryland's electronic voting machines for several years has been temporarily blocked from testing equipment nationwide after a federal agency determined it had not met new standards, officials said yesterday.

U.S. bars lab from testing electronic voting
   Jan. 4, The New York Times, By Christopher Drew
A laboratory that has tested most of the nation’s electronic voting systems has been temporarily barred from approving new machines after federal officials found that it was not following its quality-control procedures and could not document that it was conducting all the required tests. ... Ciber Inc. ... has also come under fire ... over its plans to test new voting machines ... New York could eventually spend $200 million to replace its aging lever devices....

Lawmakers likely to try changing voting, election laws 
   Jan. 2, Associated Press:, Baltimore
" the legislative session that begins next week... Early voting, paper records of ballots cast on electronic voting machines and new campaign rules are in the mix..."

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