Check out our state highlights from February 2020’s Verified Voting Quarterly Field Report. For the full report (including recent publications, events, and press highlights), click here.
We are continuing to advise the state on proposed risk-limiting audit regulations and Director of Science and Technology Policy Mark Lindeman and Senior Advisor Pamela Smith collaborated with the California Voter Foundation and other partners in submitting a public comment letter responding to the regulations. Read the letter here. Pam Smith also provided a comment on the certification process for Los Angeles County’s VSAP 2.0 system, available here.
Florida Director Dan McCrea and Mark Lindeman joined our lobbying team January 21 and 22 for an intense two-day schedule of stops at the Tallahassee Capitol. While there, we met with numerous Senators, Representatives, key staff, and the Secretary of State on HB 1005/SB 1312, which proposes to expand the use of their insecure image audit system from post-certification audits to conducting recounts. We oppose the bill as written, and are working to pave a path forward. We also met with Representatives to advise them on the risks of opening the door to internet voting.
President Marian K. Schneider wrote a letter to the North Carolina State Board of Elections urging them to decline to waive certification requirements for voting systems with known security flaws. Read the letter here. We oppose voting systems in which all voters in a polling place are forced to vote on ballot marking devices, and will continue to advocate for jurisdictions to choose hand-marked paper ballots supplemented with BMDs for those who need to use them.
After vetoing earlier measures, Governor Tom Wolf signed an election reform bill in October that includes $90 million for counties to upgrade their voting systems. We are proud of the work we did over the past 18 months to obtain this important funding. Many counties in the state are following our recommendations and have chosen hand-marked paper ballots (supplemented with ballot marking devices for those who need them) and we continue to advocate against less secure voting systems that some counties have purchased.
We also participated in RLA pilots in Mercer and Philadelphia counties as part of the Department of State’s audit work group. While we oppose voting systems in which all voters in a polling place are forced to vote on ballot marking devices like in Philadelphia County, RLA pilots can provide value for election officials to learn about the RLA process and other security best practices around paper ballots such as chain of custody, proper ballot accounting, secure storage and retrieval methods for randomly sampling ballots to check that the computers counted the ballots correctly. Read more about our role in conducting RLAs here.
Verified Voting is building relationships in the battleground state and are happy to report that Mark Lindeman participated in risk-limiting audit pilots along with other groups in Defiance and Clark Counties, with the possibility of more work to come.
After spending the past legislative session outlining security concerns with internet voting proposals targeted at active duty military overseas, Verified Voting is focused on outreach to military advocacy organizations to propose secure methods. We are also engaging with jurisdictions across the state as they move toward RLA implementation, building off our successful 2018 pilot with the City of Fairfax.
Verified Voting sent a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger addressing Verified Voting’s concerns following the November 2019 election in Georgia and providing clarity on Verified Voting’s position and involvement with risk-limiting audit pilots in the state. Read the letter here.