The keynote speaker was Dr. Rebecca Mercuri,
globally recognized as a leading authority on computer security and electronic vote tabulation and a member of the committee
that advises the government on standards for electronic voting machines. She is president/CTO of Notable Software, Inc., www.notablesoftware.com.
The other speakers included:
Teresa Hommel, corporate trainer in computer
technology and election integrity activist; www.wheresthepaper.org
Marybeth Kuznik, PA election reform organizer;
Beth Feehan, voting activist, presently working with election reform issues in NJ law firm
Michelle Mulder, administrative aide to Congressman Rush Holt (NJ) and liaison for his
voting bill presently in Congress, H.R. 550
Sheila Green provided information
on the decertification of electronic voting machines in Beaver County, PA.
Summary of the consensus of the
The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) does not require our lever machines to be replaced as long as there is a process in
place to accommodate the disabled.
2. Regarding the concern about
lack of replacement parts for the lever machines that have served us for fifty years, there is at least one factory that does still make replacement parts for these lever machines.
Because the vendors of electronic voting machines will not reveal the proprietary code in their machines, there is no way,
even with a voter-verified paper trail, to verify the accuracy of the vote tallies.
Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick has recognized the inherent flaw in electronic voting machines with proprietary code in his
support for H.R. 550, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005, with its "prohibition of use of undisclosed software in voting
Beyond verifiability, there are reasons of cost and useful life expectancy to avoid electronic voting machines, which are
much more expensive than optical scanners and require climate-controlled storage for their relatively short lives. One speaker
estimated the working life of an electronic voting machine as only five years.
If our lever machines must be replaced, it was the consensus of the experts on the panel that electronic voting machines
should be avoided in favor of paper ballots read by optical scanners such as are used to grade standardized tests, supplemented
with a system like Automark Ballot-markers, which together can accommodate all the needs of the handicapped.