Monday, June 29, 2009

Humboldt's Election Transparency Project in N.Y. Times

From: Letters to the editor of the New York Times

To the Editor:

Thank you for your editorial supporting the use of paper ballots. I’d like to call your attention to the discovery by the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project that even in Humboldt County, California, where paper ballots are in use, the Diebold GEMS system dropped an entire batch of 197 ballots from its final results in the November 2008 election, leaving no evidence in its “audit” trail.

The discovery was made by the Transparency Project, a volunteer group of which I am a member, using my ballot-counting software.

California’s secretary of state, Debra Bowen, conducted an investigation and discovered many flaws in GEMS, leading her to decertify the version of GEMS then used in Humboldt County.

It is vital that America return to paper ballots. It is equally vital that these ballots be made available for independent counting, whether by hand or by computer-assisted projects like the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project. No democracy can function when its election results are suspect.

Mitch Trachtenberg
Trinidad, Calif., June 23, 2009

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