Humboldt Election Transparency Project Gets Grant
The United States Election Assistance Commission has awarded a grant to the Humboldt County Elections Department to further develop and document the processes and software used by the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project. The $25,000 grant was one of only twelve awards nationwide under the EAC’s Testing and Auditing Grant Program. Five of the awards went to state-level Secretaries of State and Boards of Elections, including California’s.
The Election Transparency Project was developed by Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, community volunteers and election integrity advocates with the goal of allowing the voters to audit their elections by viewing digital images of the voted ballots. Open source software developed by project member Mitch Trachtenberg was instrumental in the discovery of a problem with the Premier/Diebold election tabulation system, which led to nearly 200 votes not being included in the Presidential Election report of November, 2008. On further investigation by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, additional serious problems were discovered with the Premier/Diebold system’s audit logs, resulting in that version’s decertification.
The award to Humboldt County will be used to develop better reporting capabilities for the software as well as producing a training manual to assist those conducting election audits in Humboldt and other counties interested in using the Humboldt approach.
“It’s encouraging to see the federal government recognizing the value in the work we’ve been doing. We’d love to see more jurisdictions publish ballots for independent counting. This increase in election transparency imparts greater accuracy and confidence in our election results,” said Tom Pinto, a founding member of the Transparency Project.
Crnich and the Transparency Project have previously been honored for their efforts by the Grace Institute for Democracy and Election Integrity whose mission is to improve public transparency in election processes by developing innovative ways for public citizens to oversee their own elections.
The US Election Assistance Commission grant program aims to develop and document processes and best practices for coordinating quality and cost effective logic and accuracy testing and post-election audits.