For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Contact: Kim Alexander

Directory of California Voting Systems Helps Prepare Voters for Recall Election

New map shows 54 California counties will use paper ballots; voters in 4 counties to cast digital ballots

Davis, Calif. -- To help voters prepare for California's October 7th Recall election, the California Voter Foundation (CVF) has published a new voting technology map and updated its County-by-County Directory of California Voting Systems, which provides the type, model and manufacturer of the voting equipment used in each of California's 58 counties. "The California Voter Foundation's updated directory and map give voters tools they can use to prepare for this unprecedented Recall election and ballot," said CVF executive director Saskia Mills. The directory is online at:

54 California counties will use paper ballots for the Recall election, while voters in the remaining four counties will cast digital ballots, according to a county-by-county survey conducted by CVF staff. Several counties are switching from one paper ballot system to another, to accommodate the long list of candidates on the recall replacement ballot. Nine counties -- Colusa, Contra Costa, Kern, Orange, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra and Stanislaus -- will use new voting systems for the Recall.

A new, color-coded Voting Systems Map that depicts the five voting methods to be used in the Recall election, is also available from CVF and is online at:

The map shows that among the counties using paper-based voting systems, 34 will use optical scan, twelve will use the Datavote system, and seven will use Votomatics (which, due to a federal court order, will be phased out by March 2004). California's smallest county, Alpine, will hand count paper ballots for its approximately 800 voters. Four California counties will use touchscreens for the October 7th Recall election: Alameda, Plumas, Riverside and Shasta.

While some groups have expressed concern that voters will be disenfranchised through the use of Votomatic punch card voting machines, CVF President Kim Alexander is confident in the ability of state and local election officials to effectively educate voters. "California counties have conducted numerous elections with punch card machines. Los Angeles proved in its 2001 Mayoral election that voter education can make a difference, with its successful 'Got Chad?' campaign."

Although the map shows that only an estimated nine percent of the Recall ballots will be cast and stored on computers, that figure will swell to 32 percent -- nearly one in every three California voters -- by March 2004, when another six California counties are expected to have touchscreen voting systems in place. "California's voting systems are in a state of change," said Alexander. "New computerized paperless voting machines are being purchased and installed across the state, and the California Voter Foundation hopes to see a requirement that these systems produce a voter-verified backup of every digital ballot cast, to guarantee the security of our votes."

The California Voter Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization advancing the responsible use of technology to improve democracy. CVF's voting technology work is funded by its members and by a grant from the Vodafone-US Foundation. CVF's California Map Series is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Also available on the CVF web site is a special Recall Election Voter Guide, with a list of candidates and links to campaign web sites, information about the two statewide measures on the ballot, and links to candidates' campaign finance reports. More information about the California Voter Foundation is online at

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This page was first published on September 3, 2003 | Last updated on September 3, 2003
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