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WHEREAS democracy depends on fairly counted votes and public confidence that
votes have been fairly counted;
WHEREAS an estimated thirty percent of those voting in November 2004 will use
the new Direct Recording Electronic voting machines (DREs) that remove ballot
recording and vote counting from public oversight, contrary to democratic
WHEREAS state and local boards of election often have neither the means to
independently audit the computer systems they use nor the financial or technical
resources for doing so;
WHEREAS lack of an independent audit means that voters must accept election
tallies for which there can be no independent recount, even after malfunction,
crash, lost ballots, highly suspicious results, or machines that will not
register votes for some candidates or that fail to show some contests;
WHEREAS smaller manufacturers are offering certified voting systems that
produce voter-verifiable paper ballots, and certified, free, open-source
software for voting systems is expected to be available by 2005;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the 2004 General Assembly of the Unitarian
Universalist Association that Unitarian Universalists should work for state and
federal laws that require electronic voting systems to produce a voter-verified
paper audit trail (VVPAT). A VVPAT is an unalterable paper record of each ballot
that the voter can verify before leaving the booth. It is kept in a secure
ballot box and used only for conducting independent audits and recounts.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 2004 General Assembly endorses the Voter
Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003, introduced in the United
States Senate by Sen. Bob Graham (S. 1980) and in the United States House of
Representatives by Rep. Rush Holt (H.R. 2239). This bill would require VVPAT and
accessibility for persons with disabilities and would ban electronic voting
systems that employ wireless technology.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unitarian Universalists should work for
additional state and federal laws that require voting machines and verification
mechanisms to be accessible to persons with physical disabilities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unitarian Universalist congregations are
encouraged to inform legislators and state and local election officials about
the problems associated with electronic voting systems and about accessible and
more secure alternatives.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the UUA Office for Advocacy and Witness should
keep congregations informed on this issue and legislation addressing it so that
Unitarian Universalists may share their concerns with their elected
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.
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