Date: 12/02/2008

Public Testimony


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

02:23 PM -- Public Testimony

The following persons testified before the commission:

02:24 PM --
Ms. Kathryn Wallace, representing herself, testified before the commission. Ms. Wallace discussed her background as a former software engineer for an electronic voting system firm, and as a volunteer during recent elections. Ms. Wallace discussed failures by certain electronic voting devices, and contrasted the use of electronic voting systems and such practices as mail-in voting and manual vote tabulation. Ms. Wallace then discussed her experiences with election workers and the importance of voter education. Ms. Wallace expressed concern over the public's perception of the voting process. Discussion ensued regarding criticisms of the voting process.

02:32 PM --
Mr. Neal McBurnett, representing himself, testified before the commission. Mr. McBurnett discussed his background as it pertains to voting technology and elections. Mr. McBurnett then discussed failures by electronic voting systems in performing post-election audits, and the implementation of a law mandating audits passed in Colorado in 2005. Mr. McBurnett then proposed solutions for improving elections auditing, discussing the various methods of auditing available. Mr. McBurnett's testimony included his experiences with participation in the audit process in Boulder County. Mr. McBurnett responded to questions regarding how certain technical aspects of the auditing process can be codified in state law.

02:43 PM

Mr. McBurnett responded to questions regarding his professional background, auditing requirements in other states, and the resources required to perform the audits required in other states. Discussion ensued regarding costs associated with certain election functions.

02:47 PM --
Ms. Mary Eberle, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity, testified before the commission. Ms. Eberle testified at the November 12th commission meeting, and made herself available to respond to questions regarding a film and a book she distributed to the commission at that meeting (copies of both are on file with Legislative Council Staff). Discussion ensued regarding the content of the film.

02:51 PM --
Mr. Ivan Meek, representing himself, testified before the commission. Mr. Meek addressed the element of trust in elections, as discussed previously during Mr. Craft's testimony, and discussed the appropriate level of technology for use in conducting elections. Mr. Meek then addressed the issue of voting system security.

02:55 PM --
Mr. Frank Atwood, representing himself, testified before the commission. Commission members received written copies of Mr. Atwood's testimony (Attachment C). Mr. Atwood explained the concept of score voting, and discussed the benefits of this system of voting. Discussion ensued regarding the relationship between instant run-off voting and score voting, and the benefits of each. Mr. Atwood responded to questions regarding the current use of score voting, and the unproven nature of score voting. Mr. Atwood responded to further questions regarding the technical feasibility of score voting.

03:04 PM --
Mr. Jeff Cook, representing, testified before the commission. Commission members received a flier detailing recent electronic voting equipment failures (Attachment D). Mr. Cook briefly addressed the subject of score and instant run-off voting methods, as discussed during previous testimony. Mr. Cook then discussed various methods for counting votes, his experiences in performing exit polling work during the 2008 election, and irregularities encountered on election day. Mr. Cook discussed ways that new voting systems can be tested for their veracity. Discussion ensued regarding the benefits and drawbacks of hand counting election results.

03:16 PM

Discussion continued regarding hand counts of election results. Mr. Cook responded questions regarding the subject of mechanical vote counting and the use of "sort and stack" technology, and how the hardware used for mechanical vote counting operates. Mr. Cook responded to further questions regarding his opinion of the use of provisional ballots.

03:23 PM --
Mr. Joe Richey, representing himself, testified before the commission. Commission members received written comments prepared by Mr. Richey (Attachment E). Mr. Richey first addressed the influence of electronic voting machine vendors on election processes, certain failures on the part of vendors, and the potential for holding the vendors accountable. Discussion ensued regarding available remedies in situations where electronic voting systems have failed, and the costs of contracting with elections vendors. Discussion followed regarding the potential for pursuing litigation against vendors, and potential drawbacks to litigation.

03:35 PM

Mr. McBurnett returned to offer comments on the subject of range and instant run-off voting, the benefits of such alternative voting methods, and the technical feasibility of hosting these types of elections.

03:36 PM --
Mr. Steve Sponaugle, representing Coloradoans for Voting Integrity and Voter Action, testified before the commission. Mr. Sponaugle discussed his preference for paper ballot and hand counting vote systems. Mr. Sponaugle then discussed the option of moving away from using poll watchers and vote counters from the major parties, and his preference for enacting legislation to address certain election-related conflicts of interest. Discussion ensued regarding the use of third-party poll watchers and vote counters.

03:42 PM

The commission discussed a potential commission field trip to Grand Junction.

03:45 PM

The commission adjourned.