This petition will be sent to every member of the United States Congress, individually, as well as to every Secretary of State and other top Voting Officials in every state.
Restore TRUST in American Elections: VERIFY VOTE COUNTS & SECURE VOTING RIGHTS
To Members of Congress and State Voting Officials:
America’s voting technology has reached a crisis point of insecurity, allowing accusations of “rigging” and “hacking” to dominate our general and primary elections, breeding fear and distrust in our democratic process.
Over a quarter of American voters are forced to cast their ballot on paperless touchscreen voting machines that cannot be verified. All paper ballots are counted by electronic optical scan tabulators that are not properly audited, or – in twelve states - not audited at all. Some machines are connected to the internet, and not every internet connection is obvious. All of these machines are aging, running on antiquated software, and increasingly prone to error and malfunction, creating long lines, particularly in minority communities.
Cyber security experts have proven that every form of computerized voting and tabulation is open to manipulation and threats from attacks, both foreign and domestic. Yet the most basic safeguards have not been implemented.
Many Americans suspect that their ballots won’t be counted as cast. But some elections officials deny that these problems exist, and the public is often met with false assurances, rather than with reform.
The majority of elections officials are not technically trained to understand the computerized voting systems they oversee. Many are unaware of the threats inherent in these machines. They, like the voters, rely on assurances from private vendors, many of whom have a history of deceiving officials.
The consensus among our best computer and cyber security experts is that American elections should not be controlled secretly by a small handful of private corporations and service providers who are unaccountable to the voting public. The software on our voting machines should not be legally off limits to inspection, even by elections officials. This “black box” voting system undermines democracy at its root.
We urge Congress and state elections officials take steps necessary to restore basic integrity to our voting systems. Increasingly, trust in the system is declining, and the machines themselves are aging and becoming more vulnerable.
The 2016 election was the first election that was not protected by the Voting Rights Act (VRA). It is urgent to restore voting rights and access to the polls for millions of Americans who have been disenfranchised. Restoring the VRA and protecting access to the polls is essential for democracy.
We call on Congress and Election officials to undertake the following reforms:
- RESTORE THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT. Defend voter access to the ballot box by restoring proven voter protections measures in the 1965 Voting Rights Acts.
- MAKE PAPERLESS VOTING ILLEGAL. All voting systems must provide a durable, voter marked paper ballot, that would then be the legal ballot of record.
- MAKE PRIVATE VOTE COUNTING ILLEGAL. All voting systems should be under public control, with every aspect of vote counting observable to all interested parties.
- FULLY AUDIT THE VOTE COUNT. Require all states to engage in robust, publicly observable auditing of the voting machines to ensure the correct results, including full 100% manual audits and recounts when necessary.
- SECURE VOTER DATABASES. Require internet firewalls and paper back-up of all voter databases to protect them from manipulation.
- PROVIDE PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY. Secure all voting records and ballots as public documents, accessible for audits and recounts, available under the Freedom of Information Act.
- MAKE ELECTION DAY A NATIONAL HOLIDAY. Assure that citizens have easy access to the polls.
- ENACT UNIVERSAL VOTER REGISTRATION. Register all American citizens who are eligible to vote when they reach voting age.
We, the undersigned, respectfully request that you act without delay.