Civic Engagement  

TAKE ACTION TODAY! Continue the Ban on New Electronic Voting Machines (DREs)

The following action alert is from our allies on the Verifiable Voting Coalition. For more information about the coaltion, cliick here.

Preserve Fair and Accurate Elections in Virginia,

Continue the Ban on New Electronic Voting Machines (DREs)

Virginia enacted a law in 2007 phasing out the paperless electronic voting machines known as DREs, ensuring Virginia transitions to optical scan voting machines using paper ballots that can be examined in case of recount or machine malfunction.

There are several bills currently before the General Assembly now that seek to overturn or weaken the ban on purchasing new DREs – even though the primary DRE vendor in Virginia is no longer in business and most states are moving away from DREs. This is the strongest assault on verifiable voting technology in several years!

Please contact the General Assembly members on the Privileges & Elections Committees and ask them to oppose HB 1490, HB 2023 and SB 884 and any other bills that would weaken or remove the ban on new paperless electronic voting machines, known as DREs.

A very short phone call or email is all that’s needed.Members don’t have time during session to read long emails. Time is very limited! Votes on these bills start as early as Jan 19 in subcommittees and other critical votes will follow shortly likely on Jan 25, 26 and 28.

DREs have failed in Virginia elections. The risks of conducting elections with DREs were made clear in the March 10, 2009 Special Election in Fairfax County. A DRE reported 724 total votes on election night despite only 359 people voting on that machine. The cause of that incorrect result has never been explained, yet many Virginians still vote on that model DRE.

Optical scan voting saves money. Even very large precincts can use a single optical scan tabulator, typically replacing 5 to 10 DREs at a fraction of the cost, even considering ballot costs.

Over three-fourths of the states have moved toward verifiable voting for excellent reasons. Without a voter-verifiable paper record, a meaningful recount of an election cannot be conducted, software errors can make it impossible to recover the voters' intent, and the opportunity for large-scale fraud is expanded.

If the General Assembly passes HB 1490, 2023 or SB 884, Virginia would become the first state in the nation to reverse direction and move back toward paperless electronic voting.

The 2007 decision by the General Assembly and the Governor was a strong step forward for election integrity. It came after several years of hearings, citizen action, and is in-line with the direction the majority of the states are heading. Virginia citizens deserve verifiable elections.

Here's the list. It's not short! The members with a * are the most important to reach soon, and will be the first to vote on the issue. You don’t have to be a constituent, but mention if you are. The votes you care about are happening in Privileges and Elections. Thanks for taking action.

Senate Privileges & Election Committee (oppose SB 884. Keep the DRE ban)

*Howell              804.698.7532
*Martin              804.698.7511
Deeds                          804.698.7525
*Whipple              804.698.7531
Obenshain              804.698.7526
*Puckett              804.698.7538
Blevins              804.698.7514
*Edwards              804.698.7521
*McEachin              804.698.7509
*Petersen              804.698.7534
Smith                          804.698.7522
Barker                          804.698.7539
*Northam              804.698.7506
*Vogel                          804.698.7527
McWaters              804.698.7508

House Privileges & Election Committee (oppose HB 1490 & HB 2023. Keep the DRE ban)

*Cole (Chair)                          804.698.1088
*Cosgrove (Vice Chair)            804.698.1078
Janis                          804.698.1056
*Scott, J.M.              804.698.1053
*Dance              804.698.1063
Putney                          804.698.1019
O'Bannon              804.698.1073
Hugo                          804.698.1040
Alexander              804.698.1089
Spruill                          804.698.1077
Ingram                          804.698.1062
Bell, R.B.              804.698.1058
*Gilbert              804.698.1015
Joannou            no email                                                804.698.1079
*Jones                          804.698.1076
Miller, J.H.              804.698.1050
*Cox, J.                          804.698.1066
Sickles                          804.698.1043
Albo                          804.698.1042
*Landes              804.698.1025
Phillips              804.698.1002
Howell, A.T.              804.698.1090