HJR 681/SJR 363

Joint Subcommittee to Study Virginia's Election Process and Voting Technologies

October 12, 2001, Richmond

Public comment. Federal standards now require that direct recording electronic equipment (DREs) record and store an electronic image of the ballot. The Center for Voting and Democracy advocates that certification standards for new types of optical scan and punch card equipment also require the recording and storage of an image of each ballot. The redundant image provides a backup when ballots are lost or damaged.

The chairman of the Virginia Electoral Board Association's Legislative Committee reported the committee's position on various issues being brought to the joint subcommittee by its task forces, including the following:

  • Support for the proposal to give all electoral board members authority to administer certain oaths and accept absentee ballots.
  • Support for the local option to choose among various certified types of voting equipment.
  • Support for federal grants so long as no mandates are involved that conflict with state and local control of the election process.
  • Support for additional funding and staff for the State Board to oversee certification and monitoring of voting equipment.
  • Recommendation for close monitoring of Internet voting and biometrics developments.
  • Support for a merged registered voter list and pollbook and an electronic pollbook.
  • Support for a variety of additional matters

Task force reports. The joint subcommittee received reports from Task Force # 1, Technology and Voting Equipment, and Task Force # 2, Voter Registration and Election Day Processes. Each task force presented a series of recommendations that the joint subcommittee reviewed, discussed, and took under advisement. Task Force # 1 completed its review of technology and voting equipment issues. Task Force # 2 submitted both finished recommendations and a number of items that it plans to review further before reporting final recommendations to the joint subcommittee.

Web site and future meetings. The joint subcommittee has scheduled its next meeting for Thursday, November 29, at 10:00 a.m. in House Room C, General Assembly Building, Richmond. Task Force # 2 will meet one time before that meeting on Monday, November 26, at 10:00 a.m., in the 4th Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building, Richmond.

The subcommittee instructed staff to send a news release to the media and to all persons who have participated in the joint subcommittee's and task forces' deliberations. The release should announce the availability of an Internet web site for the Joint Subcommittee on Virginia's Election Process and Voting Technologies. The web site should give access to the draft reports from the two task forces and inform the public that the joint subcommittee is considering the task force reports and welcomes comments on the proposed recommendations in advance of the November 29 meeting.

The web site for the Joint Subcommittee on Virginia's Election Process and Voting Technologies has been established at http://dls.state.va.us/election.htm. The site carries copies of the task force reports and an e-mail address for sending comments to the joint subcommittee.

The Honorable James K. O'Brien, Jr., Chairman
Legislative Services contact: Mary Spain


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