December 11, 2007
The election reform measure with broad support in the U.S. House, H.R. 811, appears to be stalled.
So Rep. Rush Holt, the lead sponsor for that bill, is planning to introduce yet another bill in the hope that states will have the ability to upgrade equipment and/or plan for election audits during the 2008 election cycle.
This attempt by Holt to get some forward movement in time for 2008 is good news for all who are worried about another presidential election riven by chaos, controversy and and a lack of confidence in election results by the American public. The news about the new Holt bill was published the National Tech Journal Daily and was reproduced with permission on the VoteTrustUSA site:
Holt’s new proposal would authorize federal reimbursement for states that decide they want to offer paper-based options to voters next fall, as well as conduct audits. His staff discussed the proposal with Democratic leaders this month, and he said in a recent telephone interview that he intends to formally introduce it soon. Read the rest of this entry »
December 4, 2007
Verified Voting has anew action alert for the Senate version of Rush Holt’s H.R. 811. S. 2295, introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), contains the desirable paper ballot and audit provisions of the original “committee mark” version of H.R. 811 plus the welcome addition of a phase-out of DRE voting machines. Go to the Verified Voting website and use the tools you find there to to contact your Senators and urge them to sign on as co-sponsors for S. 2295.
Less than a year from now, an important national election will be held — but will our voting systems be prepared? Some states have already taken action to require voter-verified paper ballots and mandatory audits to check ballot tallies for accuracy. But what about the rest of the country? Read the rest of this entry »
November 5, 2007
A new, improved version of H.R. 811, The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 has been introduced by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would outlaw the use of DRE voting machines by 2012. The House bill has been in a kind of limbo awaiting action since it was voted out the House Administration committee in May.
In response to the actions of his Senate colleagues Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) issued a press release praising the introduction of S. 2295:
“Senators Nelson and Whitehouse deserve credit for recognizing the need to give Americans confidence that elections are accurate and verifiable. I look forward to working with them to pass this legislation in Congress and send it to the President for his signature. Congress shouldn’t wait to protect voters’ rights, ensure the accuracy of elections, and increase the confidence of our citizens in their electoral system,”
One cannot fairly describe S. 2295 as a clone of the House version introduced by Rep. Holt but more of a fraternal twin — same genetic heritage but a few differences worth noting. Warren Stewart of Verified Voting believes that there are “significant improvements” in the Senate bill. Among the changes are a new provision that would eliminate the use of DRE voting machines by 2012.
In light of the revelations of the Top to Bottom Review performed at the behest of California SOS Debra Bowen (which happened after Rep. Holt introduced his bill), it is good to see a solid thoughtful legislative response in the provisions of S.2295 to the problems that the California process uncovered.
The text of the bill can be found here:
It is not yet available at Thomas.gov
October 24, 2007
Voters in Maryland want to fund a switch to paper ballots by more than two to one, according to a poll by Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies. This is an interesting result since Maryland was the first state to switch to paperless DRE’s and therefore voters in that state have the most experience with having their votes counted on non-auditable non-recountable less-than-transparent computers (although the Director of Elections in MD seems to be unaware that a machine that runs the Windows operating system like the Diebold voting machines used in her state are really computers). Now with a 95 percent confidence level and a 3.5 percent margin of error the views of Marylanders are known: dump the Diebold boat anchors and buy optical scan machines. Then the voters will be able to fill out their own ballot using pen an paper and verify their selections before putting it in the ballot box. You can find the survey results in the attached Word doc.Maryland Poll Report
Maryland will be following the lead of Florida (notorious for hanging, pregnant and dangling chads in 2000) , with recently moved to replace their DRE’s with optical scan systems under the leadership of Republican Governor Charlie Crist. This is a bi-partisan movement toward paper since Democrat O’Malley is the resident of the statehouse in Maryland. Read the rest of this entry »