Should voter verified paper audit trails (VVPAT) be mandatory in elections?
Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found.
Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. (Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 15, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in a Mar. 13, 2006 article titled "Written Statement Submitted by Bob Barr to the Georgia State Election Board on Behalf of Georgians for Verified Voting" on the Georgians for Verified Voting (GAVV) website:
"I am here today on behalf of Georgians for Verified Voting (GAVV). GAVV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan citizens' activist organization that advocates for voting systems and processes in Georgia that meet the requirements for democratic elections: these systems must be accurate, auditable (software independent), reliable, secure, transparent, and accountable.. When there are credible questions raised about touch-screen electronic voting, the state must confirm the source, identify the problem, and put into action a plan to correct the problem or to credibly assure the public the perceived problems were not in fact extant." Mar. 13, 2006 Bob Barr
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, issued the following statement through his Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, in an Oct. 20, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), cosponsored the "Ballot Integrity Act of 2007" (S.1487), a bill "To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require an individual, durable, voter-verified paper record under title III of such Act, and for other purposes":
"TITLE II-BALLOT INTEGRITY
Sec. 201. Promoting accuracy, integrity, and security through individual, durable, voter-verified paper records. Sec. 202. Requirement for mandatory manual audits." May 24, 2007 "Ballot Integrity Act of 2007" (S.1487)175 KB
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Joe Biden, US Senator (D-DE), cosponsored the "Ballot Integrity Act of 2007" (S.1487), a bill "To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require an individual, durable, voter-verified paper record under title III of such Act, and for other purposes":
"TITLE II-BALLOT INTEGRITY
Sec. 201. Promoting accuracy, integrity, and security through individual, durable, voter-verified paper records. Sec. 202. Requirement for mandatory manual audits." May 24, 2007 "Ballot Integrity Act of 2007" (S.1487) 175 KB
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), in a Dec. 9, 2003 article titled "Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions" on her US Senate website, stated:
"...I am today introducing the 'Protecting American Democracy Act of 2003,' which amends by adding a voter verification requirement for voting systems to give each voter an opportunity to verify his or her vote at the time the vote is cast. Voters will be given an opportunity to correct any error made by the voting system before the permanent voting record is preserved.
While requiring that all election jurisdictions give voters the ability to verify their votes, this legislation also gives States and local jurisdictions the flexibility to employ the most appropriate, accurate, and secure voter verification technologies, which may include voter-verifiable paper ballots, votemeters, modular voting architecture, and/or encrypted votes, for their State or jurisdiction in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner. Any voter verification method used must ensure that voters with disabilities and other affected voters have the ability to cast their vote in private, and language minorities must have equal access in verifying their vote." Dec. 9, 2003 Hillary Clinton
Chris Dodd, US Senator (D-CT), stated in a June 21, 2005 US Senate "Statement of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Committee on Rules & Administration, Hearing on Voter Verification in Federal Elections":
"I am not opposed to states requiring a voter verified audit trail - the provision I authored in HAVA [Help America Vote Act] already requires that states establish a permanent paper record with audit capacity for election systems.
But I am opposed to federally mandating that states implement voter verification by means of a paper record only. Regrettably, that is what the legislation proposed last year required, and that is what some legislation reintroduced this Congress requires. Such a requirement would discriminate against the disabled and those who are language minorities and the illiterate." June 21, 2005 Chris Dodd
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), issued a statement by his National Campaign Manager David Bonior in a letter to Alan Dechert, President of Open Voting Consortium, on June 21, 2007:
"Senator Edwards believes that is is essential that all voting machines produce a verifiable paper ballot. To ensure security, these machines should be programmed with an open source code for complete transparency, and election results should be safeguarded by voter-verified paper records." June. 21, 2007 John Edwards
Steve Kubby, founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in an Oct. 29, 2007 email to ProCon.org:
"Absolutely. There are enough questionable aspects to our election system as is -- bars to ballot access for third party and independent candidates, abysmal turnout which we usually interpret as apathy but which could just as easily be disgust with the system, etc. The least we can do is insist that the votes that ARE cast be accurately and verifiably tabulated." Oct. 29, 2007 Steve Kubby
Dennis Kucinich, US Representative (D-OH), in a Nov. 28, 2003 Press Release, stated "Diebold Withdraws Legal Threats," stated:
"An open and honest examination of the flaws in electronic voting will lead us to only one possible conclusion: electronic voting machines are dangerous to democracy because there is no way of ensuring their accuracy. We need to have a voter-verified paper trial for every election so that any errors and irregularities caused by the voting machines can be discovered." Nov. 28, 2003 Dennis Kucinich
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in an Oct. 30, 2007 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"It is always best when drastically changing systems to maintain an audit trail to ensure that the new system works as intended and to build the confidence of the user (public) in those systems. For those reasons, I believe it is important to maintain voter verified paper audit trails for the next several election cycles." Oct. 30, 2007 Frank McEnulty
Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, stated in a June 19, 2007 The Hill Op-ed titlted "A Reliable, Verifiable Vote in 2008":
"Every federal election since 2000 has clearly shown that [voting] machines can and do malfunction. In New Mexico, in 2002 these voting systems lost the votes of almost 13,000 citizens, and in 2004 they failed to register the candidate of choice for many voters. If there is no accurate and verifiable paper record of voter intent, there is no accountable means of determining a winner." June 19, 2007 Bill Richardson
Christine Smith, a Libertarian candidate and a social and political activist, stated in a Nov. 12, 2007 email to ProCon.org:
"Yes. I will work to ensure free and fair elections through verifiable paper voting - which may include use of technological advances such as computer screens in voting booths but always with a paper printout of the selected choices which is then signed and provided for actual voting." Nov. 12, 2007 Christine Smith