Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) today introduced the bipartsian Verifying Official Totals for Elections or VOTE Act, H.R. 6246, which would require jurisdictions using electronic voting machines for federal elections to deposit the software or source code in the National Software Reference Library at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
In the case of a contested election and or recount, the VOTE Act would allow qualified persons to review the source code to ensure its accuracy and reliability.
"Computers can fail. And they're never perfectly secure," said Rep. Johnson. "The VOTE Act goes a long way to protect the sanctity of the voting process, provides transparency and helps ensure accuracy in elections -- the fundamental underpinning of our democracy."
As it stands now, elections system manufacturers are not obligated to report problems to supervisors of elections or state voting officials.
The Vote Act would:
Require the deposit of a copy of election-dedicated source code and other technical data to be held in escrow for all voting machines used in federal elections at the National Software Reference Library of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Allow election officials and other qualified persons to review, examine and analyze the source code for improprieties before and after federal elections.
Protect intellectual property rights of voting machine technology by requiring auditors to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization that provides a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest, has endorsed the VOTE Act.
Other notable supporters include: the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Florida Voters, VerifiedVoting.org and the North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting. Congressional support includes Assistant Leader James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), Budget Committee Ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Frederica Wilson (D-FLA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD).