Did you know that this past legislative session, LB843 (it's an annual omnibus elections law bill) was passed to include an expansion of how "voting system" is defined in our state?


How can it not be a violation of the prohibition of electronic voting when we just expanded the very definition of our "voting system" to literally include software and other rather vague and undefined "service" that may be required to "create, cast, and count" ballots. 


Voting system, defined.

Voting system means the process of creating, casting, and counting ballots and includes any software or service used in such process.

And why would they redefine it now anyway? (It sure seems like they are trying to legitimize the ES&S services that voters in our state and all across our nation have been calling into question.)

Does it not seem that a voting system that allows for software (and other "service"--again, undefined and incredibly vague) to be used in the creation, casting, and counting of our ballots is one that could be defined as an "electronic voting system?"


Electronic voting system, defined.

Electronic voting system means a voting system in which each part of the process is done electronically.

From "creation" to "casting" to "counting," it sure sounds like "software" would encompass "each part" of our voting system. So how can our statues--which prohibit electronic voting systems--now define our voting system to include software and "service" (which, again, isn't defined, but would suggest electronic services in addition to software)? 


Voting and counting methods and locations authorized; approval required; when; electronic voting system prohibited.

(1) The election commissioner or county clerk may use optical-scan ballots or voting systems approved by the Secretary of State to allow registered voters to cast their votes at any election. The election commissioner or county clerk may use vote counting devices and voting systems approved by the Secretary of State for tabulating the votes cast at any election. Vote counting devices shall include electronic counting devices such as optical scanners.(2) No electronic voting system shall be used under the Election Act.(3) Any new voting or counting system shall be approved by the Secretary of State prior to use by an election commissioner or county clerk. The Secretary of State may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to establish different procedures and locations for voting and counting votes pursuant to the use of any new voting or counting system. The procedures shall be designed to preserve the safety and confidentiality of each vote cast and the secrecy and security of the counting process, to establish security provisions for the prevention of fraud, and to ensure that the election is conducted in a fair manner. 

It's as if this was done to protect the use of ES&S services in our elections. Our elected officials have been made well aware of the concerns that people have regarding the use of ES&S, so what do you think of them slipping this new definition of "voting system" into the omnibus election law bill? As we ask our elected officials to eliminate the use of services like ES&S in our elections, it appears that our legislators are moving us toward them instead. 


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