USACM Applauds Research Press Statement

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acm The Association for Computing Machinery



ACM APPLAUDS COMMITTEE VOTE ON E-VOTING REFORM LEGISLATION


Cites Passage of Provisions to Assure Security, Reliability of Election Process



Washington, DC - May 9, 2007 - Barbara Simons, a member of ACM's U.S. Public Policy

Committee (USACM), sees today's passage of legislation by a U.S. House of Representatives

Committee as a critical and much needed step forward toward reforming the e-voting system.

Simons, who chairs USACM's voting subcommittee, said the bill, H.R. 811 - the Voter Confidence

and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 - reflects much of what the computing community has

sought as a means of protecting the voting process against security risks, potential software

bugs, or voting machine failure during an election. This act would require voting jurisdictions to

use properly designed paper records and random manual audits to clearly convey voter intent

and dramatically increase the transparency of America's voting system. The legislation also

makes several important reforms to improve the testing and certification process for e-voting

systems.


The bill, introduced by Representative Rush Holt (D. NJ) to amend the Help America Vote Act of

2002, passed the Committee on House Administration following a series of hearings on e-voting

issues. The legislation now moves on to the full House of Representatives for consideration.


"This is the beginning of a much-needed legislative process to address the many security,

reliability, accessibility, and usability issues facing the electorate from e-voting systems,"

said Simons. "The approved legislation acknowledges the standards set by USACM to protect the

accuracy and impartiality of the electoral process. We have emphasized the need for all voting

systems -- particularly computer-based electronic voting systems - to embody careful

engineering, strong safeguards, and rigorous testing in both their design and operation. We have

also urged that voting systems enable each voter to inspect a physical (e.g., paper) record to

verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast and to serve as an independent check on the

result produced and stored by the system."


Simons cited testimony before the House committee by USACM members David Wagner and

Edward Felten that offered ways to ensure that our voting systems accurately collect and count

votes. "We are pleased that the Congress has provided an opportunity for open debate and

consideration of an issue we view as critical to the integrity of the election process," she said.


For more information on USACM's e-voting policy statement, see http://www.acm.org/usacm
/Issues/EVoting.htm

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and

scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers and professionals to

inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the

 profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and
 
 recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by
 
 providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.



 

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