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Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) June 28, 2007 -- The National Election Data Archive believes that America is at a crossroads. Kathy Dopp, Executive Director of the National Election Data Archive asks, "Do we move forward with serious voting reforms before November 2008 or leave U.S. voting systems vulnerable to error and fraud?"

The National Election Data Archive is a group of mathematicians and statisticians who want the accuracy of elections to be publicly verifiable. To strengthen the provisions of proposed election reform legislation, the National Election Data Archive is currently focusing on the "Ballot Integrity Act of 2007" (S1487) sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein. Ballot Integrity Act co-sponsors include three presidential candidates, Senators Clinton, Dodd, and Obama. The purpose of S1487 is "to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require an individual, durable, voter-verified paper record under title III of such Act, and for other purposes." The "Ballot Integrity Act" is currently being considered by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

On June 27, 2007, the National Election Data Archive issued "21 Amendment Suggestions for the 'Ballot Integrity Act of 2007' (S1487)" plus an analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of election audit proposals to detect error and fraud in US House and Senate races. .

The National Election Data Archive is recommending improvements to the election audit provisions of the "Ballot Integrity Act" (S1487) and urging public oversight of ballot security procedures necessary to verify the accuracy of election results. The National Election Data Archive advocates changes to remove unfunded mandates; reducing the secrecy in the vote counting process and reducing the vulnerability of the electoral process to electronic error, failure, and hacking while retaining states' rights to determine voting system standards.

Dopp explained why election reform legislation is urgently needed: "Federal election outcomes determine who controls budgets worth trillions of dollars and affect lives worldwide. There is a temptation to manipulate votes since winning is so valuable." Dopp proclaims "There are dozens of ways for undetected electronic vote count error to alter election outcomes and an absence of independent checks (audits) of vote count accuracy. Only one state currently performs independent audits of vote count accuracy for federal elections." She added, "We independently audit banks to make sure they are counting our money correctly. Shouldn't we be as careful with our votes?"

The "21 Amendment Suggestions for the Senate Ballot Integrity Act of 2007" is found at:

http://electionmathematics.org/em-legislation/S1487Amendments.pdf

and "Comparison Of Proposed Federal Election Audits" is found at:

http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/ComparisonFederalElectionAuditProposals.pdf

The "Ballot Integrity Act" Sponsor is Feinstein, Dianne, D-CA. Co-sponsors include Boxer, Barbara D-CA, Brown, Sherrod, D-OH, Clinton, Hillary Rodham D-NY, Dodd, Christopher J. D-CT, Inouye, Daniel K. D-HI, Kennedy, Edward M. D-MA, Leahy, Patrick J. D-VT, Menendez, Robert D-NJ, Obama, Barack D-IL, Sanders, Bernard, I-VT,

The National Election Data Archive supports the election reform legislation proposed by Representative Rush Holt, D-NJ in the House, the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (HR811) which has 215 bi-partisan co-sponsors. However the organization is withholding support for the Senate version and recommending improvements.

The House version of election reform legislation, HR811, requires more substantial election audits, from 3%, to 10% in close races, whereas the Senate version requires a flat 2% audit. By analyzing election results from the 2002 and 2004 US House and Senate races, Dopp found that a 99% success-rate audit would better protect all federal races from vote fraud and yet require manual audits of fewer precincts overall than the House or Senate audit versions. According to Dopp's analysis HR811's audit would not have protected 4 and 8 U.S. House races from possible outcome-changing vote fraud in 2004 and 2002 respectively. On the other hand, S1487 requires an internal audit conducted by election officials of their own work and its 2% amounts would not have protected 4 US House races and 1 South Dakota Senate race in 2004, and 13 House races and 1 New Hampshire Senate race in 2002 from possible outcome-changing vote fraud.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ELECTION DATA ARCHIVE::

The National Election Data Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Utah Corporation, USCountVotes. The National Election Data Archive has been organized for educational and scientific purposes of promoting fair and accurate elections by promoting public access to election records and data; and developing technology and mathematical methods to detect any voter disenfranchisement or vote count inaccuracy. Such methods include independent manual vote count audits, exit poll discrepancy analysis, and the public release and scientific analysis of election data along with public release of election records necessary to verify the integrity of the data.

The National Election Data Archive believes that sufficient, timely, verifiable, independent election audits, and public access to election records and detailed data are necessary to detect voter disenfranchisement and to evaluate the integrity and accuracy of the electoral process and election outcomes.

PRESS CONTACT:

Kathy Dopp

Executive Director, National Election Data Archive

435.658.4657 (office)

917-656-0066 (mobile)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The "Ballot Integrity Act of 2007"

http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.Home

Senate Rules Committee Members who could make the recommended amendments while the S1487 is being considered in committee

http://rules.senate.gov/members/

A reliable, verifiable vote in 2008, Governor Bill Richardson

http://thehill.com/op-eds/a-reliable-verifiable-vote-in-2008-2007-06-19.html

HR 811: Separating Truth from Fiction in E-voting Reform, Electronic Frontier Foundation, June 13, 2007

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005308.php#005308

The Campaign for Secure Elections (HR811), Lawrence Norden, June 13, 2007

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-norden/the-campaign-for-secure-e_b_51986.html

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