Guest Editorial by Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, Ph.D.
In the aftermath of the controversial 2000 Presidential Election, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was enacted, which, among other initiatives, provided funds for the procurement of new voting systems across the nation.
Many states rushed out to buy electronic voting equipment that afforded no way to perform an independent recount from ballots that the voters themselves had purportedly validated for correctness. Instead, Hawai'i did the right thing by evaluating the pros and cons of the available products, ultimately settling on a largely paper-based system. This enables votes to easily and simply be counted, using the traditional 1+1=2 method, if the computer tallies are questioned or a manual count is carried out.
Unfortunately, this will not continue to be the case if Hawai'i's Governor Neil Abercrombie fails to veto H.B. 638 which has recently been passed by both the state House and Senate.
This dangerous bill came to the floor without ample opportunity for opposition testimony. It allows for the introduction of a technique known as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), which is confusing to voters and makes hand-counting virtually impossible, thus increasing the state's reliance on proprietary and unexaminable computer software for generating its election results...