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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 4, 2004

Doug Jones To Testify Before Congressional Black Caucus Oct. 7

Douglas Jones, associate professor of computer science in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will testify Oct. 7 before a Congressional Black Caucus hearing on election preparedness in Washington, D.C.

Jones says that the question posed by the official invitation to the hearing is: “What is your best assessment of the reliability of voting systems nationwide, given the changes that have been made to voting equipment as a result of the "Help America Vote Act?” In other words, is the voting system ready for the Nov. 2 election?

Other experts expected to testify include: Mary Frances Berry, chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission; Gracia Hillman, commissioner of the Election Assistance Commission; and Jorge Mursuli, Florida state director of People for the American Way.

Jones says that his message at the hearing will be that although there have been numerous changes in voting technology since Election 2000, it is difficult to say that we have made forward progress.

“The problems with the conduct of Election 2000 were, at their root, procedural and administrative, not technological, and the focus of the past four years worth of effort has been on technology,” he says. “While we have made some technological improvements, the major promises of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 remain unfulfilled; these are the promised overhaul of our system of voting system standards and the promised comprehensive study of best practices in election administration. Both of these efforts have barely begun, and the funds needed by the Election Assistance Commission to do justice to these projects have never been budgeted.”

Jones, who has served for 10 years on the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems, is an internationally recognized expert on election technology and is best known for his part in uncovering serious security flaws in some of the most widely used electronic voting systems.His numerous appearances include testifying before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s hearings on Florida and the 2000 Election, the U.S. House Science Committee on the Help America Vote Act, and the Federal Election Commission on the 2002 draft voting system standards.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu.