Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2005

SJR 371 - Joint Subcommittee to Study the Certification, Performance, and Deployment of Voting Equipment

November 21, 2005

The Chairman called the meeting to order and introduced Bryan Finney of VoteHere Inc. to describe their company's Sentinal product, a universal verification product. Sentinal is an independent elections validation device that sits by a voting system and creates a record of how votes are recorded. He noted that the device has not been certified and that NIST is now drafting standards. The cost of this device will be approximately $500 in comparison to the $800 to $1200 cost of other VVPAT units now available. He recommended that the subcommittee call for accuracy tests of "paper trail" counts and of universal verification technology before mandating a particular voter-verified paper solution.

Jean Jensen, Secretary of the State Board of Elections, distributed information listing the voting systems certified for use in Virginia and showing the status of voting equipment purchases and distribution of HAVA funding with $25,597,686 of $29,941,318 spent to date. Of the 90 localities that were required to replace punch card or lever voting systems, 87 purchased DRE equipment and 3 (Chesterfield, Gloucester, and Hanover) purchased optical scan equipment. Forty of the 44 localities required to purchase one DRE per precinct to meet HAVA accessibility requirements have made those purchases.

Ms. Jensen noted that only two VVPAT systems (Diebold and Sequoia) have been certified nationally and that no applications for certification of such equipment have been filed in Virginia to date. She cautioned that a balanced approach involves improved security, training, and recruitment of elections personnel and that equipment technology is evolving, making it inadvisable to mandate the use of VVPAT equipment at this time.


The Chairman distributed a list of possible recommendations to serve as an outline for subcommittee discussion and guide for the subcommittee's use in reviewing possible recommendations. Subcommittee members agreed to exchange e-mails to add to the outline and provide information in preparation for their next meeting when they will take action on their recommendations.
The Joint Subcommittee's next meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, January 5, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. in House Room C of the General Assembly Building. After the final meeting is held, a meeting summary will appear on the study website as soon as available.

The Hon. Timothy D. Hugo

For information, contact:
Mary Spain, DLS Staff Attorney



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