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REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 22 — A nationwide grassroots campaign in support of legislation requiring electronic voting machines to produce verifiable, printed records has a new voice — a former media strategist for the British government.

Mark Hopkinson, founder of NewsMark Public Relations who headed the radio and television division of British Information Services, the New York-based section of the British Embassy, has been retained by non-partisan organization to direct its media outreach program.

“We were very impressed with the firm’s immediate grasp of the issues surrounding H.R. 2239 and S.1980 and the level of misinformation we are up against in our support of this bill,” said Stanford University Computer Science professor David Dill, the founder of “Hopkinson’s work for other grassroots organizations made NewsMark Public Relations a perfect fit for our media outreach strategy,” Professor Dill said.

Titled “The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003,” H.R. 2239 was introduced in the House last May by Congressman Rush Holt of New Jersey.  S.1980 is its companion bill in the Senate, introduced by Senator Bob Graham of Florida.

 “If passed, the bill will require all new electronic voting machines to produce an actual paper record that can be verified by the voter,” Dill explained. “Its provisions would allow each voter to ensure that errors or malfunctions during the voting process are detected before they leave the polling place.”

“The proposed measures are in stark contrast to the current practice of taking a tally of all voters at the close of elections, unverified by each individual voter,” Dill added.

“It would help election officials verify votes in the event of a computer malfunction, hacking, or other irregularities, and provide for more public scrutiny of the software programs inside the voting machines, currently shielded by trade secrecy agreements,” he said.

Founded by Stanford University Computer Science professor David Dill, is a non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization campaigning across the country for improvements in electronic voting technology that allow for transparent, reliable, and publicly verifiable election results.

NewsMark Public Relations is a full service agency founded by Mark Hopkinson, a former US media strategist for the British government and BBC-trained journalist. The firm specializes in personal, political and corporate image building with an emphasis on influential media placements and strategic communications.

    CONTACT:  Mark Hopkinson, NewsMark Public Relations