- AUSTIN, Texas -- Austin-based
election integrity group VoteRescue executed a highly successful Citizen
Exit Poll in Travis and Williamson Counties on Tuesday in order to monitor
the "official" results tallied by secret vote counting on electronic
voting machines, both the screen-types and the ballot scanners.
- The project was executed along with VoteRescue's coalition,
Texans for REAL Elections, and in coordination with a national effort
called "Project Vote Count" which originated in Florida by activist
Mark Adams. Florida had high participation in the Exit Poll
project during their January 29th primary; Ohio also participated
in the Exit Poll effort on March 4th, the same Primary day as Texas.
- Austin area Exit Pollers secured 1566 Exit Poll
Questionnaires in five precincts: Three in Travis County, and two in nearby Williamson
County. The respondent rate was very high, ranging from 21.3% up to 58%. Respondents
were willing to sign the questionnaires, which were formatted to be used
as affidavits if broad discrepencies were found between Exit Poll
results and official county results.
- The fact that voters were willing to forego their secret
ballot in order to make sure their votes were accurately counted was a
statement to VoteRescue and the Coalition that people share their
legitimate concerns and doubts about the secret vote counting that occurs
when they vote on a screen-type of voting machine such as the Hart InterCivic
E-Slate, or even when they vote on a paper ballot, but that ballot is counted
by the computerized optical scan counting device such as the ES&S
type used in Williamson County, Texas. Both types of voting equipment have
been decertified in three states during the last few months due to
expert studies showing the ease with which they can be hacked and vote
totals manipulated without detection: California, Ohio, and Colorado.
- While our Citizen Exit Poll results cannot be released
immediately, it can be reported that some discrepencies were found in the
numbers of two of the five precincts polled. The group is analyzing the
data to determine if such discrepencies are signicant enough to challenge
the official results.
- VoteRescue and its coalition have been working for
years to eliminate all electronic voting systems both statewide in Texas,
and nationally. The group supports a return to hand-counted paper ballot
elections, with enhanced security procedures, and citizens monitoring the
election and counting the votes in public view, then posting totals at
the precinct level. The current system of corporate-controlled secret
vote counting in Texas does not even meet UN standards for election integrity
in third world nations.
- Vickie Karp - 512/775-3737 Political Assignments Desk
Karen Renick - 512/496-7408