Positions


LWV-US Issues

LWV-New Jersey
LWV-Princeton Area

PRINCETON AREA:

Civic Education (2003): Encourage and effect an increase in interest, knowledge, and participation in our democracy. Action: Work with schools and provide training to all ages in the use of the voting booth. With the percentage of voters decreasing each election, use the mission of our League to increase voter turnout.

Regional Planning (1986): Encourage regional planning. Action: support regional planning organizations such as the Regional Panning Partnership and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Association (DVRPA).

Alternate Dispute Resolution (1991): Support mediation as an option in municipal courts. Action: Educate members and the public about "alternate dispute resolution" as an option in our local court systems.

PRINCETON:

Housing & the Environment (1968): Support land use and zoning policies of the Master Plan that are effective in achieving a heterogeneous community and are environmentally sound; oppose zoning and planning policies that may foster exclusionary practices and support policies to increase the supply of low and moderate income housing.

Action: Continue to support efforts of Princeton Community Housing, Inc., (PCH), the Princeton Housing Authority, the Princeton Housing Board, and other housing groups whose objectives are to increase the supply of affordable housing; continue to monitor the current land use and zoning policies of the Master Plan to insure that they comply with the League position. (Founded in 1967 after local studies indicated an urgent need for additional low and moderate income housing in Princeton, PCH is a nonprofit housing sponsor. The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area was one of the early supporting organizations and is still represented on the PCH Board.)

Consolidation (1952): Support the consolidation of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township. Accomplished in 2012; first consolidated government took office in January 2013.

NATIONAL

Voter Verified Electronic Voting

The League of Women Voters of the Princeton area deplores the position of LWV-US that voter verified electronic voting is unnecessary and, even, counterproductive. We consider this to be a short-sighted and wrong-headed view and strongly support HR2239, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003, proposed by our Congressman, Rush Holt, which proposes an individual voter verified paper receipt. We urge the LWV-US to reverse its position for the following reasons:

  • 1. The need for a recount arises frequently in American elections and, on occasion, has led to a reversal of the result. To preclude the possibility of a recount seems to us draconian.
  • 2. A naïve belief in the infallibility of electronic machines seems to us foolish in view of widespread testimony as to the fallibility of such machines and to their amenability to tampering.
  • 3. The charade of the Florida elections of 2000 and its aftermath has led to widespread public distrust of the voting process, a distrust that the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was designed to counter. Opposition to a record of electronic voting seems to us to deny the spirit of HAVA. Cynicism about whether one's vote counts seems to be especially strong among young people. It would be a terrible blow to the future of democracy in America not to counter that cynicism.

The LWV of the Princeton area, therefore, supports the Minnesota League in its opposition to the publicly stated position of LWVUS. We also urge support of HR 2239 leaving open the possibility of future technological advances for verification of individual votes and for accurate recount.

Passed by the membership at the annual meeting in Kingston, June 9, 2004


June 14, 2004

Women Voters Drop Paperless Vote Support

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 11:26 p.m. ET

The League of Women Voters rescinded its support of paperless voting machines on Monday after hundreds of angry members voiced concern that paper ballots were the only way to safeguard elections from fraud, hackers or computer malfunctions.

About 800 delegates who attended the nonpartisan league's biennial convention in Washington voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that supports ``voting systems and procedures that are secure, accurate, recountable and accessible.''

That relatively neutral stance was a sharp change from last year, when league leaders endorsed paperless terminals as reliable alternatives to antiquated punch card and lever systems. About 30 percent of the electorate will use touchscreen voting machines in the November election, and hardly any of the machines provide paper records that could be used in case of a contested election.

Last year's endorsement infuriated members from chapters around the country -- particularly in Silicon Valley and other technology-savvy enclaves, where computer scientists say the systems jeopardize elections. Legitimate recounts are impossible without paper records of every vote cast, they say.

E-voting critics who attended the five-day convention, which ends Tuesday, said the league's revision was welcome -- if not overdue.

``My initial reaction is incredible joy and relief,'' said computer scientist Barbara Simons, 63, past president of the Association for Computing Machinery and a league member from a chapter in Palo Alto, Calif. ``This issue was threatening to split the league apart. ... The league now has a position that I feel very comfortable supporting.''

Paperless voting has raised alarms, as several states discovered technical and other glitches in their February primaries. At least 20 states have introduced legislation requiring a paper record of every vote cast.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press


HR2239 (sponsored by Representative Rush Holt)

More information about the Voter Verified Audit Trail may be found at

www.leagueissues.org

www.blackboxvoting.org

www.verifiedvoting.org

www.wheresthepaper.org

Making Votes Count: New York Times editorials on this and other voting issues

LWVUS has information in opposition to a Voter Verified Audit Trail at www.lwv.org