Michigan: Secretary of State wants $40M from feds to hold election during COVID-19 | Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told federal lawmakers Wednesday that the $11.2 million in CARES Act Funding appropriated to Michigan for election challenges posed by the coronavirus is not enough. Benson told the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary that she still needs roughly $40 million more to adjust election procedures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Democracy can and will survive this pandemic, but we need your ongoing help,” the Detroit Democrat said. The testimony comes nearly two weeks after President Donald Trump threatened Michigan funding over Benson’s decision to mail absentee ballot applications to qualified Michigan voters ahead of the August and November elections. The state already allows voters to cast ballots by mail for any reason. Benson announced Tuesday that she will mail all of Michigan’s 7.7 million voters an absentee voter application, an effort first employed in the May 5 election to curb in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Missouri: Governor signs bill that expands mail-in voting options for August, November elections | Crystal Thommas/The Kansas City Star

All Missourians will be eligible to vote by mail during the August and November elections, under a bill signed by Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday. A majority of voters, however, will need to have their ballot notarized under the new law, which expires at the end of the year. The legislation was passed to give Missourians more options to vote in the face of a possible resurgence of the novel coronavirus in the summer and fall. “Any Missourian affected by COVID-19 should still be able to vote, including those who are sick or considered at-risk,” Parson said in a statement. Voters who fall within “at-risk” categories as defined in the law can vote absentee and will not need notary approval. Those include those 65 or older, immunocompromised, or have certain chronic or respiratory illnesses.

Mississippi: Secretary of State says existing law allows mail-in voting expansion during coronavirus pandemic. Is that enough? | Bobby Harrison/Mississippi Today

A section of existing Mississippi law could be used to allow some people to vote early by mail to avoid coronavirus exposure at the polls in November, Secretary of State Michael Watson told legislators Wednesday. Mississippi is one of six states nationwide that have not taken steps to expand voting by mail because of the coronavirus. The House and Senate Elections committees held a joint hearing on Wednesday regarding voting issues in November if the coronavirus is still a concern. In the hearing, Watson said it should be up to local circuit clerks in each county to determine whether a person could vote early under a provision of law that says people with a temporary disability can vote early by mail or in person. But Watson, who is the state’s chief elections officer, said he opposed a blanket expansion of vote by mail, though he said he would support an expansion to allow people to vote early in person at local courthouses.

Montana: Mail ballot election goes well, but a general election by mail isn’t certain in Montana | Larry Mayer/Billings Gazette

Montana’s first mail-ballot primary election set records for participation and the went fairly well, but it would take a fall emergency to set up a mail ballot general election. That’s because there’s no language in Montana law supporting a mail ballot general election. The exception would be another order by Gov. Steve Bullock giving counties the option of a mail ballot election to protect public health. “It is too early to tell what, if any, steps will need to be taken in the general election to protect the public’s health, while protecting the right to vote,” said Marissa Perry, Bullock’s communications director. “As he did in issuing the primary directive, Gov. Bullock will consult with county election administrators, public health experts, emergency management professionals, the Secretary of State, and political leaders from both parties to determine the safest way to proceed once more is known about how the virus could impact communities in the fall.” More to the point, said state Sen. Doug Cary, R-Billings, the governor’s executive order that triggered the mail ballot primary has a July expiration date. Bullock would need a new, 120-day order to raise the option of a mail ballot general election. The Bullock administration said Thursday that the governor’s current emergency order will last as long as the president’s. The normal, 120-day expiration rule doesn’t apply.

North Dakota: Judge grants order requiring notice, remedy process for mail-in ballots rejected for signature issues | David Olson/Grand Forks Herald

A federal judge has granted an injunction in a suit that sought protections for mail-in ballots that get rejected for signature issues. The injunction, granted Wednesday, June 3, bars North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger and other election officials from rejecting any mail-in ballot on the basis of a “signature mismatch” without having in place adequate notice and remedy procedures. The order is in place for the primary election set for Tuesday, June 9, and may apply to the general election on Nov. 3. The injunction was requested by the League of Women Voters of North Dakota and other plaintiffs, who argued that the state’s election process does not notify voters when their ballot is rejected due to a technical error such as a signature mismatch and that there is no method for voters to fix such situations.

Ohio: House acts to block changes in Ohio election dates | Jim Provance/Toledo Blade

The Ohio House voted along party lines Thursday to prohibit the governor or any other elected or appointed official from altering the date, time, and manner of an election set in law. In so doing the House joins the Senate in responding to the decision by Gov. Mike DeWine and his health director, Dr. Amy Acton, to issue an emergency health order shutting down polling places just hours before they were to open for the primary election on March 17. The bill passed by a vote of 61-34 with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition. Coming early in the state’s response to rising coronavirus infections, the governor’s unprecedented move was designed to reduce the threat of spread among voters and poll workers, many of whom are older Ohioans deemed at greater risk to complications from the disease. The bill leaves in place current authorization for a governor to postpone an election for up to six months in the case of an enemy attack.

Ohio: Lawmakers advance elections bill while removing language that rolled back early voting | Andrew J. Tobias/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ohio lawmakers dramatically overhauled an elections bill on Wednesday, stripping controversial language that would have rolled back early voting for the November election. The House State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday voted 8-4 to advance an amended version of House Bill 680, referring it to the full House for approval. Republicans on the committee voted ‘yes,’ Democrats voted ‘no.’ Committee members removed language that would have prohibited Secretary of State Frank LaRose from sending unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to every registered voter in Ohio for the upcoming election, something that’s been done for every presidential and gubernatorial election since 2012. Instead, they authorized him to use federal funding to pay for the mailing, which will cost $1.3 million. Lawmakers also removed language that elections officials and voting-rights advocates believed would have eliminated early, in-person voting for the final three days before Election Day.

Pennsylvania: Provisional ballots adding to delay in primary results | Emily Previti/PA Post

Pennsylvania election officials in jurisdictions home to at least 5 million voters don’t expect to have unofficial results for the 2020 primary until the end of this week or, in some cases, next week. And some are warning that it could take even longer to count votes this fall unless steps are taken in the interim. A surge in vote-by-mail is the main reason why primary results will take days to compile. The state’s largest counties — Philadelphia and Allegheny — are among seven counties total that will accept mailed ballots until June 9, thanks to an extension issued by Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday. Officials in most of those jurisdictions – where more than 300,000 ballots hadn’t yet been returned as of Wednesday – say the public shouldn’t expect full unofficial results until at least June 10. Among the commonwealth’s other 60 counties, at least a dozen hadn’t plowed through their stack of absentee and mail-in ballots by the end of the day Wednesday, though most hoped to finish  by Friday. In all 60, ballots were due by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Tennessee: Judge: Tennessee must allow vote by mail for all amid virus | John Mattise/Associated Press

Tennessee must give all of its 4.1 million registered voters the option to cast ballots by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, a judge ruled Thursday. Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled that the state’s limits on absentee voting during the pandemic constitute “an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution.” The decision upends a determination by Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office that fear of catching or unwittingly spreading the virus at the polls wouldn’t qualify someone to vote by mail. The state argued such an expansion wouldn’t be feasible for the 2020 elections, claiming lack of money, personnel and equipment for increased voting by mail, among other concerns. The ruling is likely to be appealed.

Texas: Federal appeals court blocks expansion of mail voting in Texas during COVID-19 | James Barragán/Dallas Morning News

A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked the expansion of mail voting in Texas during COVID-19. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a temporary injunction by District Judge Fred Biery of San Antonio that allowed people who lacked immunity to COVID-19 — essentially all Texans — the ability to vote by mail. The panel unanimously blocked that injunction until a full appeal is heard. The appeals court had previously put the lower court’s injunction on temporary pause. But Thursday’s order brought the expansion of mail voting in the state during COVID-19 to a full stop. The injunction is now blocked until further order of the appeals court. Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the appeals court’s ruling in a statement. “Allowing universal mail-in ballots, which are particularly vulnerable to fraud, would only lead to greater election fraud and disenfranchise lawful voters,” he said. “The unanimous Fifth Circuit ruling puts a stop to this blatant violation of Texas law.”

Utah: Utah County Clerk Received Campaign Donation from Investor In Voting App The County Now Uses | Sonja Hutson/KUER

Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner received a $1,500 campaign donation from an investor in the blockchain voting app Voatz in 2018, roughly 16 months before the county first used the app in its elections. Utah County started using Voatz for a primary municipal election in August 2019, so military and overseas voters could cast their ballots through an app. The county expanded the pilot program in November 2019 to allow voters with disabilities to use it. In her role, Powers Gardner supervises the county’s elections. When she first ran for the position in 2018, Powers received a campaign contribution from Overstock.com CEO Jonathan Johnson in early April. Johnson is also the president of Medici Ventures, which is a major investor in Voatz. In January 2018, the app announced it had raised $2.2 million in a round of seed funding led by Medici Ventures.

Wisconsin: Were absentee ballots without postmarks counted in the April election? The answer depends on where you live | Jake Prinsen/Appleton Post-Crescent

Of the many issues in Wisconsin’s April 7 election — stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, a huge number of absentee ballots and several court challenges — one was created by the U.S. Supreme Court. On the eve of the election, the Supreme Court said absentee ballots had to be postmarked on or before April 7 to be counted. Not all mail gets postmarks, however, which meant some ballots might have been sent on or before the deadline but wouldn’t get counted. In an April 10 meeting, the Wisconsin Elections Commission left it up to municipal boards of canvassers to decide whether to count ballots they received after April 7 without a postmark. Those decisions led to inconsistencies in how those ballots were counted. “We provided guidance to clerks about that, but we can’t review every decision that they make,” Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said. “There’s a chance there were some inconsistencies in how that was handled across the state.”

Australia: How will the ACT election be made safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? | Dan Jervis-Bardy/The Canberra Times

Early voting should be expanded to allow this year’s territory election to be held safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACT Electoral Commission has recommended. The commission has been forced to reassess the planning for, and staging of, the October 17 ballot because of the disruptions caused by coronavirus. In a special report presented to Speaker Joy Burch on Thursday, the commission said that due to the uncertainty surrounding the virus, it had to be assumed that the threat of further outbreaks and social distancing restrictions would still exist during the election period. It said it urgently needed to settle on a model for conducting the ballot which mitigated health risks to the community and its staff, while ensuring the integrity of the electoral process. The commission examined six options for conducting the ballot, including moving to universal online or postal voting, delaying the election date or maintaining normal procedures.

Europe: Europe nears tipping point on Russian hacking | Laurens Cerulus/Politico

The European Union is getting ready to slap sanctions on a group of Russian hackers, according to three diplomats involved — a move that would mark a turning point in the bloc’s efforts to address foreign hacking. The sanctions, expected later this year, come after the German government announced it “had evidence” tying members of a Russian hacking group to the cyberattack on the Bundestag in 2015. Diplomats gathered physically Wednesday in Brussels to discuss the Bundestag hack and whether they should respond using a new cyber sanctions regime. European countries have weighed sanctioning foreign nationals and entities involved in hacking for months, but talks were mired in secrecy as governments weighed their options. That changed when Chancellor Angela Merkel — previously reluctant to chide Russia over hacking — said last month that Berlin could not “simply ignore” an “outrageous” attack, and her government called for an EU response.

Maryland: Lt. Gov. Rutherford calls on state board elections director to resign following mail-in primary issues | Hallie Miller and Pamela Wood/Baltimore Sun

Maryland’s second-in-command called on the state’s elections director to resign Wednesday, citing issues with the ways ballots have been delivered and returns have been counted in two largely mail-in contests conducted during the coronavirus pandemic. Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford, a Republican who serves under Gov. Larry Hogan, said at the opening of an online meeting of the Board of Public Works that the state should seek “new leadership” to head the Maryland State Board of Elections. “I really think it’s time for the administrator at the Board of Elections to step down,” he said. The rebuke follows the disappearance of as many as 75,000 counted ballots from the state’s website early Wednesday morning. Those votes, sent in by mail and collected from drop boxes through the weekend, appeared on the site at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. At about 2 a.m., the city’s early returns were not available on the state site and instead were marked as “NR” for not reported. Revised numbers appeared on the state website just around 11 a.m. Wednesday, including only some of the 75,000 votes reported the day before.

National: Trump’s Attacks on Vote-by-Mail Worry Some Election Officials | Matt Vasilogambros/Stateline

There is growing concern among election officials and experts that the increasingly partisan debate around voting by mail could sow doubt in the results of the presidential election. For months, President Donald Trump has been one of the loudest opponents to vote by mail, which experts agree is a safe alternative to in-person voting during the novel coronavirus outbreak. There is little evidence it leads to voter fraud or benefits one party over another. “Mail-in ballots are a very dangerous thing,” Trump told reporters last month, despite evidence to the contrary. “They’re subject to massive fraud.” Trump has voted by mail several times, including in Florida’s primary earlier this year. By attacking mail-in voting with unsubstantiated claims, some officials and experts fear, the president’s outbursts could threaten the integrity of the general election by dissuading voters from participating and diminishing Americans’ trust in the legitimacy of the results. His narrative has consequences, said Marian Schneider, president of the election security nonprofit Verified Voting. It could lead to some Americans doubting the outcome of the November election, she said.

Tennessee: Judge: Virus mail voting guidelines ambiguous | Jonathan Mattise/Associated Press

A Tennessee judge on Wednesday said the state’s guidance about who can vote by mail due to the coronavirus is “very ambiguous,” and she cited “weighty proof” that other states have expanded to let all voters cast absentee ballots this year — something Tennessee officials say is not feasible. In a hearing via video conference due to the pandemic, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle cast doubts on some of the state’s key arguments against two lawsuits that seek a by-mail voting option for all voters this year to curb the virus’ spread at the polls. Lyle also cautioned that whatever she orders needs to be “a practical, workable solution, or it will throw the election into chaos.” She raised particular concerns about costs for local governments. The judge plans to rule Thursday on whether to issue a temporary injunction to allow all voters to request absentee ballots in the Aug. 6 primary. A similar federal lawsuit is also pending. At one point, she cited a section of the state Constitution that says the right to vote “shall never be denied” to any person entitled to do so. “When I read that, it really resonated with me that what you’re saying is, ‘It’s better to deny the injunction even if the result is that people don’t vote,’” Lyle said. “That’s what you’re saying, that they don’t get to access that fundamental right that we all treasure under the Tennessee Constitution.”

National: Pandemic, Protests and Police: An Election Like No Other | Reid J. Epstein and Nick Corasaniti/The New York Times

On the biggest day of voting since the coronavirus disrupted public life, Americans cast ballots in extraordinary circumstances on Tuesday, heading to the polls during a national health and economic crisis and amid the widespread protests and police deployments that have disrupted communities across the nation. The most high-profile race of the day produced a surprising result when Representative Steve King, the Iowa Republican who was ostracized by his party after questioning why white nationalism was offensive, lost his primary to Randy Feenstra, a state senator who had the tacit support of much of the state’s G.O.P. establishment. Mr. King is only the second congressional incumbent from either party to lose a bid for renomination in the 2020 primaries. The other was Representative Dan Lipinski of Illinois, a Democrat who lost a March primary to a more liberal challenger. But unlike Mr. Lipinski, Mr. King was defeated not because of his ideology but because his defense of white identity politics finally proved too toxic for his Republican colleagues to abide. In his campaign, Mr. Feenstra did not make an issue of Mr. King’s litany of racist remarks, but instead argued that his removal from House committees by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made Mr. King an ineffective congressman for Iowa.

National: Election officials contradict Barr’s assertion that counterfeit mail ballots produced by a foreign country are a ‘real’ worry | Amy Gardner/The Washington Post

Current and former election administrators said it would be virtually impossible for a foreign country to produce and mail in phony absentee ballots without detection, an issue Attorney General William P. Barr raised as a serious possibility in an interview published Monday. Barr told the New York Times Magazine that a foreign operation to mail in fake ballots was “one of the issues that I’m real worried about.” “We’ve been talking about how, in terms of foreign influence, there are a number of foreign countries that could easily make counterfeit ballots, put names on them, send them in,” Barr said. “And it’d be very hard to sort out what’s happening.” Barr did not offer any evidence of how such a scenario would take place. Elections officials in multiple states said it would be virtually impossible for a foreign government to achieve what Barr described. Judd Choate, the elections chief in Colorado, where nearly all voters cast ballots by mail, said “there is zero chance” it could happen in his state because of security precautions in place there.

National: CISA Official Sidesteps Controversy over Trump’s Voting Fraud Claims | Mariam Baksh/Nextgov

As lawmakers and election security experts try to counter President Trump’s assertion that voting by mail invites fraud, a senior official of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency dismissed the controversy as a “process” issue. “I mean, you got to keep in mind what our goal here is,” the senior CISA official said on a call with reporters today regarding the primary contests happening in eight states. “We’re supporting state and local officials as they implement their electoral, you know as they administer elections. We’re focused on the infrastructure, providing cybersecurity services to the infrastructure, back-end systems, on voting machines, those are all the things. The president’s concern is on the process side.” The official was answering a question about whether CISA was doing anything to publicly fact check May 26 tweets the president made claiming the use of mail-in ballots means “this will be a rigged election.” In an unprecedented move, Twitter labeled the tweets “misleading,” and noted their potential to sow confusion.  

National: ‘Biggest threat to election security is the coronavirus,’ security expert warns | Benjamin Freed/StateScoop

Although the rate of new infections appears to have slowed down in recent weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic remains the greatest challenge to ensuring that the 2020 presidential election runs accurately and securely, election security experts said Monday. Speaking on a webcast hosted by two members of the House Homeland Security Committee, Wendy Weiser of New York University’s Brennan Center for Law and Justice said election officials still need much more funding and support to make all the preparations for an election that will likely have to be conducted largely via mail, especially in states that have historically low rates of postal ballots. “By far the biggest threat to our election is the coronavirus,” Weiser said. “We are going to see substantial changes to how we run elections this year.” A potential preview of November is playing out Tuesday, with seven states and the District of Columbia holding their primary elections, including several that were delayed from March and April as the pandemic spread and kept voters cooped up under stay-at-home orders. In almost all those jurisdictions, election officials — Republican and Democratic — made efforts to expand their use of mail-in ballots.

National: ‘First Super Tuesday’ Of The COVID-19 Era: Voting Amid Protests, Pandemic | Miles Parks/NPR

Facing a pandemic that continues to spread through the United States and protests nationwide over the killing of another black man at the hands of police, voters headed to the polls Tuesday in more than half a dozen states. It’s a primary election date that was already going to be a challenge for election officials due to health concerns, even before nationwide unrest led to curfew orders in conflict with polling place hours in some places. In Washington, D.C., as well as the eight states voting Tuesday, the vast majority of ballots are expected to be mailed in. In Montana, for instance, election officials mailed every active registered voter a ballot. But the in-person voting options that are also required to be offered in many places create a unique problem. In Philadelphia, for instance, officials are trying to reassure voters they won’t be arrested for voting in the Pennsylvania primary if the city decides to extend a 6 p.m. curfew to Tuesday. Polling places will stay open in the city until 8 p.m. “Philly residents will not be arrested or prosecuted for going to or coming from voting tomorrow,” District Attorney Larry Krasner told NPR member station WHYY on Monday. “No curfew is going to interfere with any voter going to the polls. Please do not let these circumstances dissuade you.”

National: Mass upheaval and pandemic spell trouble for a megaday of primaries | Zach Montellaro/Politico

Holding an election in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic is tough. Holding an election as civil unrest sweeps across the country during that pandemic could be seriously problematic. Election officials will have to grapple with that challenge Tuesday, when voters in nine states and the District of Columbia vote by mail or head to the polls for primaries. Several cities set to hold an election have seen massive protests, at times spiraling into looting and violence. With widespread curfews keeping residents in their homes and some ballot-return locations shuttered, some voters could end up disenfranchised, voting rights activists warned. “We are particularly concerned about how the protests, and particularly the response to the protests, are going to affect voting,” said Suzanne Almeida, the interim executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. She cited two particular stress points: curfews and an increased police presence.

District of Columbia: Voters in D.C. primary face long lines, crowds at polls | Julie Zauzmer and Fenit Nirappil/The Washington Post

D.C. voters braved waits longer than four hours to cast ballots in a city primary election upended by coronavirus and demonstrations against police violence. The District attempted to shift to a mostly by-mail election to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. But many voters never received the absentee ballots they requested and the city shuttered most of its usual polling places, resulting in lines stretching for blocks. Results of the election were not available hours after polls closed at 8 p.m., to allow for the voters still waiting in line to cast their ballots. Initial results were not expected until early Wednesday. A 7 p.m. curfew the mayor imposed as protests continued to sweep the city halted public transportation and forced some voters to come up with alternative travel plans, and caused confusion when an officer improperly told voters lined up at a Georgetown-area polling place to go home. But residents said they were determined to exercise their voting rights in pivotal local council races and the presidential primary, with some citing the demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd as inspiration.

Iowa: Armed with face masks and hand sanitizer, voters cast their primary ballots | Ian Richardson/Des Moines Register

Jan Hall has been voting in person for more than six decades, and she wasn’t going to let a pandemic stop her from doing it again. The 85-year-old Des Moines resident was among a steady trickle of voters filing in and out of the South Side Senior Center on Tuesday morning, where approximately 120 people had cast their primary votes in the first two hours, slightly above poll workers’ expectations. “I like the idea of going to a polling place and writing my vote on a ballot and putting it in a machine and knowing that it’s being counted,” she said. “I’ve got my mask on. I’ll be fine.” Cloth masks were standard for many of those who entered the polling places Tuesday morning. Poll workers also wore masks or face shields. It’s one of many precautions taken to protect voters casting their ballots in person amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Verified Voting Blog: Recommendations for Election Officials and Voters ahead of March 17 Primaries

The following is a statement from Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting in response to concerns around the March 17 primaries and the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional media inquiries, please contact aurora@newheightscommunications.com PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – (March 16, 2020) “We understand the growing concerns about keeping voters safe at the polls amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which is…

Verified Voting Blog: Verified Voting Data Shows Super Tuesday Voting Systems and Polling Equipment Trends Across States

This Super Tuesday, voters in the 14 states holding primaries will encounter a range of voting methods and polling equipment. Verified Voting maintains a comprehensive database of voting systems being used across the United States (see the Verifier) and is observing a number of trends across Super Tuesday states, including:

  • California – Los Angeles County is rolling out Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP), their in-house designed and publicly-owned ballot marking device (BMD) for all voters
  • North Carolina – More than half of North Carolinians are voting with new equipment, and seven counties are using BMDs for all voters. Verified Voting opposes the use of commercially-available BMDs for all voters because research suggests few voters actually check the paper outputs with enough attention to catch errors
  • Tennessee – 70% of registered voters will vote on unverifiable direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines; a few counties are using hand-marked paper ballots or BMDs
  • Texas – 36% of registered voters are voting on unverifiable DREs, and about half of all Texans will be using new voting equipment

Verified Voting Blog: Verified Voting Calls on Florida to Rely on Paper Ballots for Election Recounts – Not Ballot Images

Verified Voting urges the Florida legislature to amend HB 1005 and SB 1312 to require a public manual comparison audit to check that electronic election result tabulations agree with the voter-verified paper ballots to a reasonable scientific standard. Election security researchers agree that all electronic vote tabulations should routinely be manually checked against paper ballots.

A retabulation system can facilitate this verification: election officials can examine a relatively small random sample of the voted paper ballots to ensure that the system counted each ballot accurately. Given heightened public concern about security threats, it is important now more than ever to demonstrate – not just assert – that computerized systems performed correctly.

“For Florida recounts to give Floridians the faith in election results that they deserve, recount procedures must demonstrate, to a reasonable scientific standard, that the computers counted the paper ballots accurately,” said Dan McCrea, Florida Director of Verified Voting. “As members of the Florida legislature recognized in a public hearing – that paper is the best evidence – we urge the legislature to amend the bill to routinely check this evidence.”