Making Democracy Work

Voting Systems and Procedures

Adopted 2005

To ensure voter confidence in elections, The League of Women Voters of Santa Clara County supports voting systems and procedures that are secure, accurate, re-countable, accessible, and fair.

  •  A SECURE voting system requires:
    1. open source code for all machines
    2. testing of machines before and during elections sufficient to detect most anomalies; predetermination of consequences that would automatically result from any detected anomalies
    3. well-defined controls on access to machines before and during elections
    4. a certification process for machines, at national and state levels, that is independent of vendor influence

  • An ACCURATE voting system requires voter verification of his/her choices, using preferred medium (paper or audio)
  • A RECOUNTABLE voting system requires
    1. more than one type of counting system available (such as machine, manual)
    2.  appropriately delineated automatic recounts

  • An ACCESSIBLE voting system requires
    1. information for all voters on registration and the voting process
    2.  prominent consideration of human factors and ease of use during the design, evaluation, certification, and procurement of voting systems; and in local management as well, such as in having uniform listing of voting issues/candidates across ballot pamphlets, paper ballots, and screens.

  • A FAIR voting system requires
    1. openness and transparency, which should include as a minimum
      • testing, counts, and recounts open to observers
      • open publication of test and test results, including machine   certification
      • an active County citizens' oversight committee, and other advisory committees as needed
    2. privacy for all voters
    3. appropriate jurisdictional control of responsibility for funding and implementation of voting systems, taking into account the need to balance basic standards and local control

  • Voting PROCEDURES must include
    1. poll worker training commensurate with responsibilities
    2. uniform standards for provisional ballots, including enfranchisement outside home precinct

  • DECISIONS about voting systems and procedures should include consideration of new technologies.

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