Voters Are Entitled To Know Their Votes Are Properly Counted, Says ACLU In Letter To South Carolina State Election Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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COLUMBIA, SC – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of South Carolina sent a letter today to the South Carolina State Election Commission asking the commission to require South Carolina counties to copy or preserve the flash memory cards from voting machines used in the June 8 South Carolina primary elections for the U.S. Senate so that the information on the cards can be audited.
There have been numerous complaints about malfunctions with the touch-screen voting machines used in the South Carolina primary elections. Generally, South Carolina counties erase the memory cards for reuse in upcoming elections. The ACLU believes the information on the cards must be saved and audited so that South Carolina voters know whether or not their votes were counted.
In the letter to the commission, the ACLU and the ACLU of South Carolina said, "We take no position on whether there were irregularities sufficient to place the outcome of the election in doubt but believe the voters in South Carolina are entitled to know that their votes were properly counted. That assurance can only be given if the information on the flash cards is preserved and audited."
The full text of the letter is below and online at: www.aclu.org/voting-rights/aclu-letter-south-carolina-state-election-commission
More information on the work of the ACLU Voting Rights Project is available at: www.aclu.org/voting-rights
June 16, 2010
South Carolina State Election Commission
2221 Devine Street, Suite 105
Columbia, S.C. 29205
Dear Ms. Andino:
This is to request that the State Election Commission require the 46 counties in South Carolina to preserve or copy the flash cards (memory chips) inside their touch-screen voting machines used in the June 8, 2010 primary election for United States Senate. Dr. Douglas Jones, who serves on the Federal Election Assistance Commission's Technical Guidelines Development Committee, has been quoted as saying there is no way the touch-screen machines in South Carolina can be audited without all the information on the computer flash card in each machine.
This request is made in response to numerous complaints that have been made about malfunctions in the voting machines during the June 8 election. We take no position on whether there were irregularities sufficient to place the outcome of the election in doubt but believe the voters in South Carolina are entitled to know that their votes were properly counted. That assurance can only be given if the information on the flash cards is preserved and audited.
This request is consistent with the Mission Statement of the State Election Commission, which "is to ensure every eligible citizen has the opportunity to register to vote, participate in fair and impartial elections, and have the assurance that their votes will count."
Your attention to this request will be much appreciated.
Director, ACLU Voting Rights Project
Executive Director, ACLU South Carolina National Office