Government Technology

E-Vote: Grayson and Stumbo Agree on Paper-based Voting for Kentucky

October 5, 2007 By

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, chair of the State Board of Elections and Kentucky's chief elections official, received a report today commissioned by Attorney General Greg Stumbo that, among other things, encourages Kentucky to move to optical scan voting machines as Grayson has advocated.

"I appreciate General Stumbo's willingness to work with the State Board of Elections to further strengthen our election laws and procedures," said Grayson. "This effort marks a continuation of our offices' efforts to work together in a non-partisan way to root out election fraud in the commonwealth. We will review this report and act accordingly to ensure that Kentucky election procedures remain a national model for other states to follow."

On September 18, 2007, three systems were recertified, when used for their intended purpose in accordance with state and federal law, by a unanimous vote of the bi-partisan State Board of Elections upon the recommendation of the state's voting system examiners team consisting of a county clerk, an expert in computer science, and a person who is knowledgeable in election procedures and law in Kentucky. Kentucky law states that "a system shall be approved" if the examiners report and the State Board of Elections finds that a system meets all of the requirements set forth by statutes governing the requirements for approval of voting systems. Those requirements include 12 specific points and include the requirement that each system be certified by the Federal Election Commission.

"Voting systems used in the commonwealth not only meet Kentucky standards, but they also meet applicable federal standards," remarked Grayson.

Most of the recommendations by Stumbo require legislative changes, and Grayson pledged to look into legislative remedies for issues which require attention. In addition, the State Board of Elections just completed extensive training with county clerks across Kentucky on the topic: "Security of the Elections Process in Kentucky -- A Roadmap to an Effective Security Plan."

One of the primary recommendations that Stumbo issued in a letter to Grayson, and was included in Epstein's recommendations, was for the state to move to optical scan voting systems that use paper ballots. Grayson has been the state's leading advocate for the move to voter verified paper records, such as optical scan voting systems.

"I am pleased that General Stumbo now recognizes the importance of moving to an optical scan or similar voting system," noted Grayson. "These systems provide greater voter confidence, speed up the elections process, and are less confusing than some other systems. I look forward to working with General Stumbo and other election officials to transition to voter verified paper record based voting systems in Kentucky."

Grayson also echoed Stumbo's earlier statements at the State Board of Elections meeting held on September 18, 2007. "These recommendations are simply 'precautionary' and are 'no cause for alarm.' We can always work to advance Kentucky's election procedures and will consider these recommendations carefully."

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