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E-Voting May Be Put To A Vote In California

April 27, 2009

The future of electronic voting in one California county may be decided by the voters themselves. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is considering placing an advisory measure on the June ballot asking voters if they prefer e-voting.

The motion was approved even after an elections watchdog group criticized the touch-screen machines and produced evidence of alleged security lapses and multiple violations of election rules in the November 2008 election. Save R Vote founder Tom Courbat says it should not matter if people like e-voting; what should matter is what is safe and secure.

"Electronic voting has been proven to be insecure and hackable in study after study. Therefore, it doesn't matter if the voters like it. It's not safe and should not be advocated for widespread use."

Nearly 72,000 electronic votes were cast in Riverside County in the November 2008 election. Courbat says the county is not following the conditions set by the Secretary of State, who ruled e-voting should only be used by those with disabilities and special needs. County election officials say the high number of e-votes proves voters prefer the machines.

Riverside County Registrar Barbara Dunmore told the board her office is constantly improving its procedures for tracking and counting votes. Courbat says the Save R Vote report presented to the board showed examples of many problems.

"The controls were so loose and so unpredictable that fraud could have taken place and you never would have known it. The chain of custody was very badly broken."

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Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA