Launches Absentee Voting Campaign

With reports indicating that the State of Florida will be critical in determining the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, and that electronic voting has produced high voter error rates during recent elections,, a web site devoted to encouraging all voters to exercise their right to vote absentee in order to ensure a paper record of the voting, has launched an absentee voting campaign urging residents of Florida and elsewhere not to take the chance that their vote will be lost or deleted by the computers, but to vote absentee instead.

Why vote absentee? Absentee votes create a verifiable paper record, so you won't lose your vote to electronic wizardry. This is a serious concern especially for localities using touch screen machines, which can lose voting records, as reported by CNN, and the South Florida Sun Sentinel, which said "Counties with touch screen voting devices had 8 times as many voters who failed to cast ballots during the recent presidential primary, compared to ones using optical scanning of paper ballots."

These and other concerns have led Senator Bill Nelson to call upon the U.S. Justice Department and the Florida Secretary of State to conduct an independent audit of the electronic vote counting devices.

According to creator and noted First Amendment attorney, Larry Walters, "The upcoming presidential election promises to be one of the closest in history. Therefore, the outcome may be decided by recounts or litigation pertaining to the recount efforts. It is critical that some paper record of everyone’s vote be generated, to ensure an accurate recount if necessary. That concern prompted me to launch, a few months ago, encouraging everyone to vote absentee; particularly Florida voters whose votes will likely again decide the election. Amazingly, Florida has a regulation that prevents any recounting of electronic voting. That regulation is being challenged in the courts by the ACLU and others, but the easiest way to deal with this issue is for everyone to stay home on Election Day, and send in their votes via absentee ballot. Most, if not all, states permit this procedure, and it ensures that a paper record of each vote will be maintained."

"I'd suggest that everybody stay home on election day and just vote absentee," concluded Walters.