Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.
I am a former ski instructor with a master s degree in mathematics who began Summit County s first Internet service provider. My son is an Air Force captain.
Unlike my opponent, I am not a former county clerk who, while in office, saw no problem with un-audited elections and election reporting practices that hide evidence of vote miscounts. Formerly, one person did the programming to count Utah s punch cards without any independent manual audits of election count accuracy.
I have devoted 2.5 years to election integrity issues and attended National Association of Secretaries of State and Association of State Election Directors conferences. As your county clerk, I would attend nationwide meetings of county clerks to advocate for reform and modernization of our elections, making them transparently, verifiably accurate.
Utah s lieutenant governor used taxpayer dollars to promote a private company s secretly counting our votes and decertified trustworthy voting systems, forcing us to use flawed, expensive, hackable machines. However, we could utilize Diebold optical scan paper ballots, implement more openness, better ballot-handling procedures and sufficient independent audits.
I do not trust Diebold to count my votes, so if you vote for me, please participate in our parallel citizen vote count at VoteNow2006.net. KathyDopp.com
1. Summit County Clerk Sue Follett decided not to audit results from the county s new touch-screen electronic voting machines during the primary election in June. As clerk, would you audit future election results? Why or why not?
Manual counts of voter-verified paper ballot records are the only way to check electronic vote count accuracy. Pre-election testing does not detect fraud. The Utah Lt. Governor s Office claims that it will conduct a one percent statewide audit, but indications are that it could be a sham, internal, secret audit:
Utah s election officials denied records requests for written audit procedures and denied public access to detailed election records necessary to verify audit integrity. Such security by obscurity is a recipe for inside manipulation;
One percent is inadequate for detecting outcome-altering vote miscount;
Utah has not yet purchased equipment needed to expediently hand-count voter-verifiable paper-roll ballot records; and
State-level audits are insufficient to evaluate Summit County s election integrity.
As Summit County clerk, I would implement adequate, transparent, independent audits using the principles outlined in The Election Integrity Audit paper, which I co-authored. See UtahCountVotes.org/ ElectionIntegrityAudit.pdf
Our election system needs fundamental reform. KathyDopp.com
2. To comply with the Help America Vote Act, Summit County recently purchased Diebold touch-screen voting machines. The machines were used for the first time in the 2006 primary election in June. How secure should voters feel that the controversial machines accurately record their ballots?
The Help America Vote Act does not require touch-screen voting machines which: use invisible volatile e-ballots susceptible to errors and tampering; cause longer poll lines; and store paper ballot records sequentially, violating voter anonymity.Economical, trustworthy, accessible, verifiable voting systems are available that do not violate Utah s requirement for a secret ballot. However, Utah s lieutenant governor decertified other systems to force counties to use Diebolds. (See UtahCountVotes.org)
Trusting hundreds of persons who program and count votes to be 100% infallible and honest by not subjecting vote counts to sufficient, independent audits, especially when election winners control budgets worth millions to trillions, is an open invitation to rig elections.
In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 10 percent of Diebold electronic memory card votes counted differed from paper ballot summary records. Summit County is keeping these election records secret.
If you vote for me, participate in our parallel citizen vote count VoteNow2006.net.
3. What is your opinion about a proposal to change the current three-member Summit County Commission to a five-member county council with an appointed manager?
I may vote for the new council. However, I am concerned that costs for new county manager and council members could compete with staffing needs for Summit County Clerk s office.
Summit County Clerk has 3 staff, including the clerk, compared to Salt Lake County Clerk s 22 full-time election staff and 36 staff total! Many tasks require the same resources regardless of population size. Summit County voters were wrongly removed from voter registration rolls because Utah now requires purges of voter rolls. A full-time person is needed to maintain new electronic voter registration to avoid disenfranchising voters.
Utah s Lt. Governor s Office recently claimed that Utah has no written procedures for conducting elections, audits, absentee ballot handling, or voting machine security! Summit County needs an election director plus additional staff and expert computer scientist/voting system consultant to devise and implement election and ballot-handling procedures. Please participate in our Parallel Citizen Count: VoteNow2006.net
4. Please explain attempts made this year by the Utah Legislature to change Utah s Government Records Access and Management Act. How does the Summit County Clerk s Office use this set of statutes?
GRAMA statute changes recently reduced the transparency, efficiency, and accountability of government: Now contents of PDA (Blackberry) devices purchased for Utah legislators by taxpayers will be classified as private records, and now officials may waste irrecoverable government staff time and paper by providing original records requested electronically, only on paper, wasting citizens time as well. Summit County denied GRAMA requests for election records that have revealed large discrepancies between voter-verifiable paper and electronic vote counts in Ohio; and revealed electronic voting machine malfunction or tampering in New Mexico. The withheld election records are not classified private, no Utah statute prohibits releasing copies, and the data these records provide are required in order to perform publicly verifiable audits of electronic vote counts. Election officials cannot ensure accurate vote count by keeping problems secret. As Clerk, I will publicly release records in the format requested and whenever legally permissible.
5. Besides serving as the county’s chief elections officer, what other duties are performed by the Summit County clerk?
The clerk s office is responsible for voter registration, elections, business licenses, marriage licenses, passports, special event permits, beer licenses, and clerk for county commission. Yet Summit County Clerk s Office has only three full-time staff, including the clerk. Half of that is needed solely for business licensing.
Salt Lake County Clerk s office has 36 full-time employees, 22 in its elections division.
Summit County Clerk needs more staff and an election director. Additional technicians are needed to maintain and secure the Diebold voting machines that were forced on us, and a full-time person is needed to maintain the new electronic voter registration roll to avoid disenfranchising legal voters. The current lack of written procedures for absentee ballot handling, voting system security, audits and testing means that hardware must be purchased, expert consultants hired to develop procedures to secure and audit our voting system and ensure that we use uncorrupted election software.
6. As part of a discussion about whether the form of government in Summit County should change, citizens considered whether positions of officials currently elected by voters should be appointed. Should voters continue to choose the Summit County clerk? Why or why not?
Today, the majority of U.S. county clerks are defending a fundamentally flawed election system — not subjected to independent audits, with private companies secretly counting votes with insecure computers, and releasing aggregated election results in a way that hides evidence of vote miscounts. Paper ballot tampering and electronic errors go undetected.
Utah s Lt. Governor denied public records requests for written election procedures, claiming that Utah has no written procedures for: Early voting, Election Day, absentee ballot handling, audits and recounts, voter registration roll handling and voting machine security. How can we trust the integrity of a secret process? A recent Zogby poll shows 92 percent of Americans support transparent, observable vote counting. Voters must be able to oust election officials who do not support election transparency.
I do not trust Diebold to secretly count my votes. Please participate in our parallel citizen vote count VoteNow2006.net.
7. One candidate in this race has served as Summit County clerk in the past. The other has no government experience. How should voters consider the candidates resumes when making their decisions?
The clerk s most critical duty is elections. As president of the National Election Data Archive with an MS in mathematics with computer science work, I collaborated on academic papers on voting systems; mathematically evaluated exit poll and election data; derived new methods for analyzing exit poll discrepancies; and developed a new method to calculate election audit sample sizes to ensure election outcome integrity. My work shows that the one percent audit that Utah officials plan is insufficient, even if it were independent and transparent.
My work was cited in the Senior Judiciary Committee Democrats letter seeking a Government Accountability Office investigation into the 2004 election; in Mark Crispin-Miller s book Fooled Again; in Robert F. Kennedy s June 2006 Rolling Stone article; and my work on audit calculations was cited by Ronald Rivest, MIT professor of math and computer science. I owned Summit County s first Internet Service Provider business.
8. A controversial discussion in the county recently concerned the cost to receive a business license. Please explain your philosophy about what the fairest way would be to assess license fees to businesses that come in different shapes and sizes.
The purpose of business licensing is to keep track of information about all businesses operating within the county and make inspections for compliance with fire safety, health and other laws. Summit County recently altered its business license fees to a flat $175, consistent with Utah law. Previously Summit County businesses paid anywhere from $40 to as much as $40,000. However, the new fee has been objected to by small businesses owners who saw over a 400 percent increase.
One possible fair solution, based on the administrative costs of issuing business licenses, could be charging larger businesses more for fire or health inspections based on square footage, time spent by inspectors, or the number of times inspectors must return to a business location. Perhaps this could allow lower fees to be assessed to smaller businesses with less square footage, or which do not require lengthy inspections.
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