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Voter verified paper trail advocates won an important victory last week when California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley announced he will require voter verified paper audit trail of digital ballots by 2006. He has also taken several steps to improve election security in California immediately and beginning in 2005 will prohibit counties from purchasing computerized voting systems that lack a voter verified paper trail. His action makes California the first state in the country where computerized voting is already deployed to require a voter verified paper trail.

I hope to have some more detailed analysis of this historic action shortly; but in the meantime, I'm writing to ask for your help.

While Shelley's decision is widely applauded and supported, not everyone is happy. There are several California county registrars that are asking him to rescind this decision and there is some talk of lawsuits in the future.

It's important that Secretary Shelley hear from as many people as possible right now -- both inside and outside California -- who applaud his decision. Please take a moment to send him an email and share your thoughts -- you can write to: constituentaffairs@ss.ca.gov

You can also forward my message along to other people and lists that you think will be responsive.

If you are a California voter, I also encourage you to contact your local county election official and let them know that you support Shelley's action. Contact information can be found at http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm

Thanks to all for your support and hard to work that made this historic achievement possible! It was an important victory in the movement toward verifiable voting systems; we still have a long road ahead of us but fortunately things are now moving down a better path.

Kim Alexander
President of the California Voter Foundation