Marian K. Schneider: “Alabama’s recount laws won’t do enough to protect voters’ votes.”
The following is a statement from Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting, on election integrity, and the need for manual recounts and audits. For additional media inquires, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“All eyes might be on the candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, but Alabama’s election practices and recount laws also deserve scrutiny. If the race goes to a recount following the election, Alabama’s recount laws won’t do enough to protect voters’ votes because it has no audit structure in place and relies on re-tabulation – where ballots that were tabulated by optical scanners are now re-tabulated by machine. If a recount occurs, it cannot be relied on to detect and correct a potential error in the computerized count unless it is done manually.
“Alabama voters going to the polls today will vote on paper ballots. Those ballots are fed to computer scanners that then tally the vote. Voter-marked paper ballots provide an auditable record that can be used to detect interference or programming errors that other voting equipment – like electronic touchscreens cannot. But while Alabama employs voter-marked paper ballots –a best practice in election administration – that paper ballot only provides protections if it’s used in manual audits and recounts.
“Regardless of whether a recount is needed, all election results should be audited. Alabama already has the built-in, fail-safe resilience that paper ballots provide making it possible to conduct an audit that can reliably detect and correct an error in the election result. If every state’s election systems provided voter-verified paper ballots and post-election audits, we would be able to detect and correct errors or election tampering. But without the proper procedures in place, Alabama will be unable to do this. Safeguarding our election systems is vital to maintaining our democracy.”