Together with the Indiana League of Women Voters, Indiana Vote by Mail, and Verified Voting, Free Speech For People issued a letter on February 10 to Indiana state lawmakers to urge them to reject legislation that would continue the use of Indiana’s direct record electronic voting machines.

A bill has been moving through the Indiana legislature that would encourage counties to retrofit their computerized voting devices with cash register receipt thermal printers with the goal of providing a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) that can be used to conduct post-election audits of elections. The computerized voting devices currently in use in Indiana cannot be audited.

In the coalition’s letter, the organizations warn that the printers Indiana is adopting are extraordinarily expensive and print ballot selections in small print and on flimsy thermal paper that is difficult to read and verify. More importantly, because the paper records are ill-suited to manually reviewing the voters’ selections, as is necessary to conduct a meaningful post election audit, the system is designed to record votes in indecipherable QR codes, and to audit the results from the QR code, by computer.

“Indiana must move to paper ballots, but this plan, developed by the previous Secretary of State, is extremely ill-advised, needlessly expensive, and will fail to provide Indiana voters with meaningful, reliable post-election audits,” said Susan Greenhalgh, Senior Advisor for Election Security at Free Speech For People. “With the proposed system, audits are conducted from an indecipherable QR code, not from human readable content, making them nothing more than theater.”

Read the letter here

Read the Associated Press story on this letter here.