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We Need Something Better—Building Star Vote

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Although worried about new requirements, most Election Administrators (EAs) welcomed the Help America Vote Act deadline in 2006. The Act brought funding that made it possible to retire old voting equipment, such as punchcard, and switch to ADA-friendly electronic voting systems. Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems seemed to promise so much better service to voters as well as faster and more accurate processing of election night returns. But were they as great as they promised to be? EAs did not design these systems nor did they write the laws requiring their use. In response to the criticism of the DREs, some EAs responded by developing techniques to mitigate the vulnerabilities by using auditing and testing. County Clerk DeBeauvoir will review the most used mitigators and discuss whether such actions are effective. Newer certified voting systems claim to have better security, but not to the standards offered by STAR Vote. STAR Vote (Secure, Transparent, Auditable, Reliable) is a concept for a new voting system that offers the best of both worlds—an electronic voting system with a paper ballot back-up for auditing and recount purposes. We’ll conclude with a discussion of the elements of the STAR Vote design, a timetable for its implementation, and how you can help complete this project.