CAMPAIGN, ELECTION, & MEDIA REFORM
Democrats believe that trustworthy elections are a cornerstone of democracy. To ensure the effective functioning of our democratic government, we advocate effective campaign reform, public access to the full spectrum of political opinion, full voter registration and accuracy of voting with verification. To this end, we support:
free, fair, and publicly-financed elections;
a voting process that allows voters to hand mark or machine mark their votes onto full-text paper ballots, including voting machines with paper-trail audits; voters must be allowed to check their votes before they cast them, to know that the votes on their paper ballot are what get counted, and to have access to proof that every ballot is accounted for and that every vote is correctly understood and counted;
H.R. 9, the bipartisan, bicameral "Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006", the bill which would renew sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that are set to expire in 2007;
preferential or instant runoff voting;
an independent media that fosters critical thinking on the part of all Americans in separating fact from propaganda, knowing that fairness and balance may be an illusion;
reinstating equal time requirements (the fairness doctrine) and the principle of fair and balanced reporting;
enforcement of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that promote multiple owners of media outlets to ensure the free expression of diverse opinions;
replacement of the Electoral College with the direct election of the President of the United States including adoption of the National Popular Vote Bill in a compact with other states as introduced by State Senator Ken Gordon;
that all machines employing Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) technology used for voting in any public election must, as a minimum, produce a voter-verifiable record, meet all National Institute of Science & Technology (NIST) requirements for data encryption and security, and that it be independently auditable with respect to source code, reliability, and vote integrity. Validation of DRE results should be performed by manual comparative audit of a random sample of between one and five per cent of the paper records. All recounts must be done strictly with paper records (ballots).
We support a statutory random audit that is a true audit of 5% (at least two) of the voting machines used where all of the ballots of each randomly chosen machine are hand counted and verified against the machine total; andvoter registration that is convenient for voters to complete and even simpler to renew, and that produces complete, accurate, and valid lists of citizens who are eligible to vote.