For Immediate Release
Friday, November 21, 2003

Contact: Kim Alexander or Saskia Mills

California Voter Foundation Applauds Requirement of Voter Verified Paper Trail

Davis, Calif. -- The California Voter Foundation applauds Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's decision to require voter verified paper ballots to be generated by touch screen and other computerized voting machines used in the state of California. Under the decision, California voters who cast ballots on computerized machines will have the opportunity to view a printed image of their ballot on which they can verify their votes. Paper ballots will be retained at polling places. The paper ballots will help ensure the accuracy of votes cast and the tallies conducted at the end of elections, particularly when recounts are required.

California Voter Foundation President Kim Alexander praised the Secretary of State's decision. "The California Voter Foundation applauds Secretary of State Kevin Shelley for his great leadership in making this decision. California has long been at the forefront of innovations in digital democracy and no innovation could be more important than verifiable computerized voting systems. By requiring a voter verified paper trail, the Secretary of State has taken a critical step toward preserving the integrity of the voting process in the wake of new technologies that change the ways in which we vote. We hope other elections officials will follow his lead," Alexander said.
In January 2003, the California Voter Foundation Board of Directors adopted a position in support of a voter verified audit trail. The statement reads that "any voting system that does not require a voter to directly mark on the ballot must still create a verifiable audit trail of each ballot cast that can be viewed by the voter at the time the ballot is cast; given today's technology the only practical voter-verifiable audit trail is a paper ballot image."
Alexander and David Jefferson, a California Voter Foundation Board Member and computer scientist, served on the California Secretary of State's Ad Hoc Touch Screen Task Force. Alexander and Jefferson, along with Stanford computer science professor David Dill, urged the implementation of a voter verified paper trail in the Task Force report, which is online at

The California Voter Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting and applying the responsible use of technology to improve the democratic process. For more information about the California Voter Foundation, please visit

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This page was first published on November 21, 2003 | Last updated on November 21, 2003
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