Monday, September 25, 2006

Smartmatic Sequoia Voting Systems Misuses Brennan Center's Report on Voting Technology

Sequoia Voting Systems, a manufacturer of electronic voting equipment, has wrongfully used the Brennan Center’s report on voting machines to promote its Direct Record Electronic ('DRE') Voting System. T

he Machinery of Democracy: Usability of Voting Systems is a comprehensive study that calls attention to potential problems with the usability of new electronic voting technology, and provides recommendations to improve the systems.

The Brennan Center does not rate or endorse any voting systems or products. The report, in fact, finds Sequoia’s data incomparable to other electronic voting equipment because of the unique ballot system used only in Nevada. Click here to read The Machinery of Democracy: Usability of Voting Systems.

Here is the original misleading Smartmatic-Sequoia Press Release:

Michelle M. Shafer, 800.347.4702


Used in Nevada for 2004 Presidential election, Sequoia's DRE with VVPAT produces lowest residual vote rate of all voting systems

Full-Faced DRE most secure, reliable, accessible and accurate
voting solution for New York

NEW YORK, NY, September 20, 2006 - Sequoia Voting Systems' AVC Edge, a touch screen Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting system, received the top usability rating of any voting machine in the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law's recent report. The Center's report compared the residual vote rate (total undervotes and overvotes) of various voting systems. Sequoia's AVC Edge, which was used statewide in Nevada for the 2004 presidential election, produced a residual vote rate of 0.3% - significantly lower than all other comparable systems.
"The Brennan Center report affirms that the AVC Edge has the lowest residual vote rate of any voting system - something Nevadans already knew and New Yorkers and the rest of the country should strongly consider when choosing their voting technology," said Jack Blaine, President of Sequoia Voting Systems.
The Brennan Center report compiled and analyzed data for each major voting system used in the 2004 presidential election. Central-Count Optical Scan systems, (voters mark a paper ballot that is scanned by a computer at a central location) and Precinct Count Optical Scan (voters mark a paper ballot that is scanned at the precinct) produced a residual vote rate of 1.7% and 0.7% respectively.
In addition, Sequoia's touch screen DREs can be used by all voters, including voters with accessibility challenges, meeting the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Section 301 requirement for the placement of one accessible voting machine in every polling place. As a result, Sequoia's DREs allow all voters to use the same system.
"For the first time, thanks to Sequoia's touch screen DRE, many voters with accessibility challenges can now cast their ballots privately and independently - finally leveling the field and allowing all citizens to vote in an equal manner," added Jack Blaine.
Moreover, for jurisdictions requiring a full-faced ballot, Sequoia has designed the Advantage Plus Touch Screen, its newest DRE.
"In states like New York, where voters have used full-faced ballots for decades, they will surely be more comfortable with full-faced DREs, a proven system that mirrors the lever voting experience. The Advantage Plus Touch Screen has all the features that made the AVC Edge so successful - plus a full-faced ballot to provide voters a seamless transition from their existing system," said Jack Blaine.
In fact, history shows that voters who are accustomed to full-faced ballots may find the switch to full-faced DRE ballots easier and more seamless. For example, in Ocean County, New Jersey, a jurisdiction which shares New York's history of using a full-faced ballot, voters prefer the full-faced DRE system to all other options.
"When we transitioned away from the lever machine, we chose a paper-based ballot system, but after years of using the lever machine, voters found it confusing and difficult to use. Then we switched to the full-faced DRE and it's been smooth sailing for our voters ever since," said Ocean County Clerk Carl W. Block.
In addition, Sequoia will bring more than 1,000 jobs to New York State if selected to provide DRE voting systems. Sequoia's DRE equipment is manufactured in Tioga County (Harvard Manufacturing) and Suffolk County (Jaco Electronics), and 75% of all components included in the manufacture of Sequoia DREs come directly from suppliers throughout New York. In the Empire State since 1892, Sequoia has a long and rich history of providing jobs and top quality service to New Yorkers.

Additional Facts about full-faced DREs

Ø Security: DREs with a voter verified paper trail provide the highest level of security - permitting rapid and thorough audits to verify electronic results.
Ø Stand-alone System: None of Sequoia's DREs are networked or connected to the Internet - making each machine ultra secure.
Ø Multilingual: DREs allow citizens to vote in their primary language (as allowable by law in each jurisdiction), reducing confusion and errors with a simple and easy-to-use ballot.
Ø Tested Technology: With a 20+ year track record, DRE systems are a proven technology for secure, reliable, accessible and accurate elections.

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About Sequoia Voting Systems (
Sequoia Voting Systems is an American company, based in Oakland, California with a 100-year history of providing accurate, reliable, state-of-the-art voting solutions dating back to the nation's first lever-based mechanical voting equipment in the 1890s. Sequoia provides election technology, services and support to state and local governments including precinct-based optical scan ballot readers, high-speed central count optical scan ballot readers, ballot layout and printing services, and full-face and paginating electronic voting equipment with optional printers that produce voter verifiable paper records. The company has hundreds of customers throughout 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Sequoia has been providing electronic voting equipment for twenty-five years and leads the industry with our AVC Advantage full-face push button electronic voting system and the AVC Edge touchscreen system. For more information, please visit