ACLU of Florida Applauds Governor Crist's Recommendation to Scrap Touch-Screen Voting Machines

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
January 30, 2007 12:00 am

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ACLU of Florida
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MIAMI – The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida today commended Governor Charlie Crist’s announcement that he will recommend that Florida scrap paperless touch-screen voting machines. The following statement can be attributed to Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida:

“The ACLU applauds the apparent decision of Governor Charlie Crist to recommend the end of paperless voting in Florida.

“Computer touch-screen voting has been the subject of a litany of problems in our state, nowhere better illustrated than the recent Congressional election in Sarasota and the special election in Miami-Dade County. Both elections were marred by under-votes. In the case of the 13th Congressional District election in Sarasota, there were a sufficient number of under-votes to put the outcome of the election in doubt.

“However, while we applaud the Governor’s responsiveness to the crisis in voting technology in Florida, it is too quick to scrap touch-screen DRE machines and replace them with optical scanners.

“Any solution to the problems of accuracy, reliability, and recountability that have plagued electronic voting in Florida must also ensure that the right of disabled voters as well as language minorities not be negatively impacted.

“The ultimate goal is for voting systems to be upgraded to provide for an accurate and reliable vote, with the capacity for a meaningful recount if necessary, together with full disability and language minority access in the same system.

“Secretary of State Kurt Browning announced just last week that next month the state will certify equipment that will protect the right of disabled and language minority voters to vote unassisted and in private and, at the same time, tabulate votes using the more reliable optical scan system. These systems should be tested and given a chance.”

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