Friday, July 13, 2007

Report from Blue Ribbon Panel in Riverside County, California

A report has been released by a Blue Ribbon Panel that was appointed by the Board of Supervisors of Riverside County in California. The panel held several public hearings, meetings with the registrar of voters, a meeting with the Board of Supervisors, three group study and writing meetings, and a presentation by Sequoia Services, the vendor of the DRE with VVPAT that is used in Riverside county.

I found the report to be extremely well thought out and well written. The panel was clearly open minded and considered all of the post 2006 election data and observations. The top conclusion of the panel was:

    "Move as quickly as possible to a hybrid voting system whereby able-bodied voters make their preferences on paper ballots which are then counted by optical scanners."

The report details shortcomings and failures in the Sequoia Edge system used in 2006, and explains why the hybrid system would overcome these. I believe that this report, along with the top to bottom review that Secretary of State Bowen is conducting will result in California moving to much more secure, reliable, auditable and transparent election systems. According to this report, the hybrid systems will also result in faster results and less waiting time at the polls.