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Proposal Details

Proposal ID80
ProposalVoter-Verified Paper Ballot Audit Trail
PresenterMultiple. See below in References.
Floor ManagerGreg Gerritt
Discussion03/22/2004 - 04/12/2004
Voting04/13/2004 - 04/19/2004
Presens Quorum28 0.6666
Consens Quorum35 A Majority of Yes and No Votes


This proposal is the result of a lot of work! The challenge posed by the merging of two complex worlds, voting and computer systems, should not be underestimated. This proposal has gone through months of revision and through 7 states and some local approval processes. In addition, it includes feedback from noted expert David Dill, a computer security professor at Stanford who is focused on this issue full time as well as our Brent White, who has substantial expertise in election systems. I myself have gotten fairly knowledgeable in the intense struggle happening in Maryland where touch screen voting machines are being implemented.

Part of the issue is that technology is moving at lightening speed so it is hard to establish consensus on best practice. However, we see the purpose of this resolution as an important statement of values and some basic technical parameters that will support our activism on this important issue at the state and local levels (and perhaps more national press on the issue). And, a Green technical working group can be formed to hash out the fine points as voting systems evolves, if there is sufficient capacity and interest. Bottom line, with most of these decisions being made at the county level, we cannot strive to outline technical standards in this resolution.


Proposed Resolution for Voter-Verified Paper Ballot Audit Trail

WHEREAS, a pillar of Green values is grassroots democracy and the hundreds of thousands of Greens who are working to grow this fledgling party hold the right to vote as inviolate;

WHEREAS, the integrity of the vote is threatened by the new touch screen voting technology which has been shown to have numerous security vulnerabilities to human and programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious tampering;

WHEREAS, state legislatures are updating voting equipment in response to the federal Helping America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2001 which requires upgrades in voting equipment by 2006;

WHEREAS, some states and counties are moving toward or have already installed paperless electronic voting machines in spite of research, expert opinion, the lack of national technical standards and real life election debacles showing the integrity of voting is at high risk from touch screen voting machines;

WHEREAS, some of the manufacturers of voting equipment are highly partisan raising the appearance of, if not actual conflicts of interest, e.g., Diebold Corporation has demonstrated blatant conflict of interests and ethical lapses given the 23 senior managers which have contributed to the Republican Party or the Bush campaign; the CEO of which has said he hopes to deliver Ohio to Bush, add to this illegal installation of uncertified software, manipulative pricing, poor product performance;

WHEREAS, the use of secret proprietary software is unacceptable in a democracy, especially when that software is routinely unavailable to state election or elected officials, and under any circumstances ceding the responsibility to collect and count the vote to a private corporation is unacceptable;

WHEREAS, the disabled community has legitimate desire for full access to a secret and independent vote; and the technology exists today to build an electronic voting machine that incorporates a voter-verified paper audit trail that is accessible to vision-impaired voters;

WHEREAS, paper ballots are used in the UK, Canada, India and other sophisticated democracies;

WHEREAS, FOR COUNTIES AND STATES WHERE TOUCH SCREEN VOTING MACHINES ARE ALREADY IN PLACE, a voter-verified paper audit trail is the best protection available to guarantee that an individuals vote has been both recorded and counted correctly by an electronic voting machine (such as a touch screen) especially when coupled with random audits based on the paper trail;

WHEREAS, four states (Nevada, California, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin) have already required and guaranteed such a paper trail for their own citizens;

In jurisdictions where touch screen electronic voting machines are already in use, the Green Party of the United States resolves to support the growing national movement of citizens in calling for strict implementation, required use, and required random manual recounts of a voter-verifiable paper ballot audit trail, by which we mean a permanent paper record of each vote that can be checked for accuracy by the voter before the vote is submitted, and is difficult or impossible to alter after it has been checked.

The Green Party of the United States calls for full enfranchisement of all voters including language minorities, and those with disabilities.

The Green Party of the United States also calls for publicly disclosed election software that conforms to the highest public interest standards for ensuring the integrity and trustworthiness of the vote.




Sponsored by:

Maryland Green Party, Linda Schade
Washington State Green Party, Brent White
Progressive Party of Missouri, Dee Berry
Maine Green Independent Party, Morgen D'Arc
New York Green Party, Rachel Treichler
New Jersey Green Party, Ted Glick

Questions about this system?
Contact the Voting Admin.
The Green Party of the United States voting system is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
You can download a copy here.
To independently verify a ranked choice vote, or for information about how that works, go to Jonathan Lundell's Voting Page and upload the ballot file from the ranked choice vote result page. JL's ranked choice module is licensed under an alternate free software license.
Green Party of the United States