January 18, 2005

TO:
  Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
FROM:
  Kay J. Maxwell, President
RE:
  Voting systems

The League of Women Voters Education Fund has developed a whitepaper entitled Helping America Vote: Safeguarding the Vote that touches on several issues that will be considered by the Technical Guidelines Development Committee. I am attaching a copy of that document for consideration by the committee.

In addition, the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) at its convention last June adopted the following statement: “In order to ensure integrity and voter confidence in elections, the LWVUS supports the implementation of voting systems and procedures that are secure, accurate, recountable, and accessible.” The term “recountable” is not a code word for paper trail, indeed, the League’s stand is based on the understanding that voting technology is rapidly developing. We believe that standards must allow for technological innovation.

We also believe that any analysis of voting systems must be balanced, and apply the same criteria equally and appropriately to all systems, including any attached devices for recording, printing, or other function. Thus, each element of the voting system that produces a ballot to be counted must assure that the ballot is secure, accurate, recountable, and accessible.

We ask that the Technical Guidelines Development Committee consider the League’s views as it does its work.