Hay Bright calls for paper ballots in federal elections
November 4, 2006
Maine's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright Friday proposed federal legislation that would require standardized paper ballots for all federal offices - President, U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress - all across the country. Hay Bright made her comments prior to casting her absentee ballot at the Dixmont Town Office.

"In a few minutes I will participate in one of the most important processes in any democracy - I will cast my vote. I will do so on a paper ballot, which will be counted by hand after the close of elections next Tuesday," she said.

Hay Bright said that while Mainers can be "highly confident that the outcome of elections all across Maine will actually reflect the intent of the voters who cast those ballots, the same cannot be said across the country, where people cast votes on computerized machines which have no paper verification trail, no way to audit the authenticity of the vote, and no way to guarantee that the results actually reflect the intent of the voters who cast those ballots."

"This situation is absolutely unacceptable in our democracy. If the integrity of the voting process cannot be guaranteed, then democracy itself is lost," she said.

"Federal officeholders - two senators and however many Congressmen from each state - pass legislation which affects the entire nation. So it is reasonable that the process to elect those federal officeholders be standardized across the country. We must assure this process is accurate. And the only way to do that is by using paper ballots for all voting," Hay Bright said.

Beyond paper ballots for federal offices, Hay Bright also called for standardized voter registration rules, and standardized voting laws, for voting in those federal elections. At the moment, different states have different requirements and deadlines, for registering people to vote, for casting provisional ballots, for purging voters from registration lists, she said.

Click here for the text of Hay Bright's statement.