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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

No Electronic Voting Without a Paper Trail

November 29, 2003

Re "Reversal of Ballot Printout Plan Urged," Nov. 22: I am gratified to see that Secretary of State Kevin Shelley understands and acknowledges the widespread distrust of electronic voting systems by many voters and has been proactive in finding a solution. His new requirement that such systems have a verifiable paper ballot printout will do much to alleviate this distrust and return voters to the polls. I believe it is imperative, and not too much to ask, that we know our vote is being counted in the way we have intended. Most of us would not do an ATM or credit card transaction without requiring a receipt, because we want confirmation that our transaction went as intended. Certainly our vote is equal to, if not more important than, such transactions.

As a resident of Riverside County I have had zero trust in Sequoia's touch screens since their adoption countywide and have voted absentee using a paper ballot. Our registrar of voters, a public servant, has been dismissive of the trust issue that many voters have, which exists because no verifiable audit trail mechanism is currently in place on these machines.

I feel vindicated by Shelley, who stated, "The average California voter doesn't necessarily have the confidence in these machines."

Marcia Amino

Moreno Valley

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