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Emergency Paper Ballots Needed

Election Integrity Organizations, Leaders Urge States to Plan for Emergency Paper Ballots, Procedures for Nov. Election

Signatories Include Congressmembers, Elections Officials, Computer Scientists, Civil Rights Attorneys

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ — A broad coalition of more than 50 election integrity groups and individuals sent letters today to all 50 governors, secretaries of state and directors of elections calling upon them to provide emergency paper ballots for the November midterm elections: “All voters must have the option to vote on an Emergency Paper Ballot if necessary, and all such ballots must be counted as regular, not provisional, ballots.”

This initiative follows federal legislation introduced in both houses of Congress last month, which would have reimbursed states for costs of emergency paper ballots. Congress failed to pass this legislation before their election recess.

The letter is signed by individuals such as: Robert F. Kenney Jr., Senator John Kerry, Rep. Rush Holt, Leon County, Fla. Election Supervisor Ion Sancho and computer scientist Doug Jones. Organizations signed include: Common Cause, VerifiedVoting.org, VotersUnite.org, BlackBoxVoting.org, VoterAction.org, VelvetRevolution.us, TrueMajorityAction.org and many others.

The call for emergency paper ballots comes in the wake of thousands of legally registered voters having been sent away without casting a ballot during recent primary elections when electronic voting machines failed, froze, were mis-programmed or otherwise unavailable. Some voters were given provisional ballots, which may not have been counted, while others were told to “come back later.”

Maryland Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich called for paper ballots across the entire state after thousands of citizens were unable to vote.

“No legally registered voter should ever be sent away from the polls without being allowed to cast their vote,” investigative journalist and VelvetRevolution.us co-founder Brad Friedman said. “With these new electronic voting machines failing across the country, it’s just common sense to make sure there are back-up plans and procedures in place,” he added. Friedman and VR are initial signatories of the letter.

Over 80 percent of voters will cast votes on electronic machines this year. Many such systems will be used for the first time. If their record for accuracy and reliability during the primaries is any indication, common sense plans for emergency paper ballots is a must in every state.

VelvetRevolution.us, a coalition of more than 100 election integrity organizations, is currently working on related issues via its VR Election Protection Strike Force.

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