The Computer Ate My Vote Day of Action

Imagine waking up the morning after Election Day 2004 to learn that the presidential election was too close to call. Sound familiar? Many observers say the nation has not fixed the problems in our election systems that were so painfully exposed in 2000.

In many places, for example, votes in November will be cast on electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper trail, or essentially a receipt, to assure voters that their ballot will be counted as cast. And there have been far too many problems and questions raised about the security and reliability of the software inside electronic voting machines to trust a computer’s recount without the back up of a paper trail.

That is why Common Cause is joining with partner organizations to cosponsor the “Computer Ate My Vote” Day of Action to be held in 19 state capitols across the country on Tuesday, July 13th!

We believe each voter should have the opportunity to verify that their vote is counted as cast. We need a voter verified paper audit trail – simply put, a paper copy of the ballot that the voter can check while he or she is in the polling place to ensure that the software counted the vote as the voter intended. A voter-verified paper audit trail would assure a voter or an election official that the machine has tabulated the votes properly

We don’t want to replace the problems of “hanging chads” and “butterfly ballots” with the software glitches and crashes.

Update (7/14): The “Computer Ate My Vote” rallies have generated both national and local press converge all over the country from Albany, New York to Indianapolis, Indiana. Madeleine Hervey, of Common Cause of Texas at a rally in Austin, Texas said, “We are unified in our desire to protect and defend our voting system.” Rachel Leon, the Executive Director of Common Cause of New York reported that about 100 people gathered for a press conference event on the West Steps of the New York State Capitol. After several diverse speakers, the groups successfully rolled out over 400 feet of signatures of petitioners and wrapped a literal paper trail from west steps of the State Capitol to front entrance, where state police stopped them. The activists then rolled up the paper trail and delivered nearly 42,000 signatures to Governor Pataki calling for voter verified paper trail and action on HAVA package for NYS.

As we keep getting more updates we will keep posting it on our website.