ELECTION 2012: Will Voting Machine Failure Affect the Final Count?

Contact: Verified Voting Foundation – Christy Setzer


Common Cause – Mary Boyle


*** Media Advisory ***

ELECTION 2012: Will Voting Machine Failure Affect the Final Count?

New Report Reviews States’ Readiness to Handle Voting Machine Problems on Election Day

Reveals best and least prepared states, and recommends improvements

Tele-Press Conference Call Wednesday 12 Noon ET

Washington, DC – With millions of Americans expected to confront in November an array of voting technologies, including online voting, experts from Verified Voting, the Rutgers Law School Constitutional Litigation Clinic and Common Cause on Wednesday will release a new report, “Counting Votes 2012: A State-by-State Look at Voting Technology Preparedness,” reviewing how states are prepared to respond to voting system failures.

High-profile elections in the past decade repeatedly have been decided by razor thin margins. The 2000 presidential race was decided by 537 votes in Florida; the Washington State gubernatorial race in 2004 by 129 votes, and a Minnesota Senate race in 2008 by just 312 votes. Voting machines fail in every election. In the 2008 election, more than 1,800 voting machine problems were reported nationwide. Problems include machines that won’t start, memory cards that can’t be read, mis-tallied votes, lost votes and more. The U.S. Constitution and every state constitution, as well as statutes throughout the country, require that every vote be counted as cast.

The report highlights strengths and vulnerabilities in each state – based on their contingency plans if machines malfunction; whether electronic votes come with backup paper records; whether vote tallies are checked and rechecked as votes are aggregated, and whether states conduct robust audits of election results. This tele-press call will detail the report’s findings and recommendations, detailing how election officials and voters can help assure that all votes are counted.

Who: Pamela Smith, president of the Verified Voting Foundation

Susannah Goodman, director of Voting Integrity Program, Common Cause

Michelle Mulder, Visiting Scholar and Fellow, Rutgers Law School Constitutional Litigation Clinic

What: Tele-press call to release report findings and recommendations for state

voting systems.

When: Wednesday, July 25 at 12:00 PM ET

Dial in information: (877) 317-2314

Passcode: Election 2012