New Yorkers, call your congressperson NOW to halt HR 811!

From Allegra Dengler:
Holt HR 811 aims to provide a “paper trail” in the 2008 elections, but it makes a bad situation worse. There is an alternative bill out there that would give us a simple fix for the 2008 elections, but it’s languishing while this bill is alive. In the meantime, many states have made huge improvements since 2004-Ohio, CA, FL, NM, many others. This bill gives the federal EAC (Election Assistance Commission) more power to run our elections. The last thing we need is a bill that in any way undercuts the efforts of the states and shifts control of our elections to the EAC, an executive branch agency with commissioners appointed by the President.
Say NO to the Holt bill- tell your representatives and tell MoveOn.
It appears HR 811 (the Holt bill) will be coming up for a vote on the House floor as early as Wednesday. Please call your representatives in Congress, starting Tuesday, and ask them to VOTE NO on HR 811.

Nita Lowey (202) 225-6506 or (914) 428-1707
Elliot Engel (202) 225-2464 or (914) 699-4100
John Hall (202) 225-5441
Maurice Hinchey (202) 225-6335 or (845 344-3211
NYC Congress Members.
Gary Ackerman, Phone 202-225-2601, Fx 202-225-1589,
Gregory Meeks, Phone 202-225-3461, Fx 202-226-4169,
Joseph Crowley, Phone 202-225-3965, Fx 202-225-1909,
Jerrold Nadler, Phone 202-225-5635, Fx 202-225-6923,
Anthony Weiner, Phone 202-225-6616, Fx 202-226-7253,
Edolphus Towns, Phone 202-225-5936, Fx 202-225-1018,
Yvette Clarke, Phone 202-225-6231, Fx 202-226-0112,
Nydia Velazquez, Phone 202-225-2361, Fx 202-226-0327,
Vito Fossella, Phone 202-225-3371, Fx 202-226-1272,
Carolyn Maloney, Phone 202-225-7944, Fx 202-225-4709,
Charles Rangel, Phone 202-225-4365, Fx 202-225-0816,
Jose Serrano, 202-225-4361, Fx 202-225-6001,
MoveOn is calling on members to take a position on this issue. Vote in the MoveOn poll NOW:
No, we should not support the bill.

Dear friends,
This federal bill is no longer about providing a paper trail on a DRE (and frankly even if it was, the paper trail can be hacked without detection making you believe you verified your vote) – see report from UConn at The Holt Bill that Congress is getting ready to vote on has been so rewritten since it was first introduced that it is UNRECOGNIZABLE to the experts who were originally consulted–it now has provisions to FEDERALIZE and PRIVATIZE the PERMANENT SECRET COUNTING OF OUR VOTES. This undoes democracy. Perhaps worse than giving private companies even more control, the bill GIVES THE EAC–WHITE HOUSE APPOINTEES–permanent oversight over our elections.
This goes far beyond what a simple hack to a paperless DRE can do…
Friends/ Family/ Lovers of Democracy/ please make sure you click on the MOVEON poll above NOW and call your representative Tuesday.
Please send/post this email far and wide.
Andi Novick
Northeast Citizens for
Responsible Media (Re-Media)
“Hinchey Says Holt Election Bill ‘Has Been Compromised’
July 18th, 2007
New York Congressman Has ‘Very Serious Questions’ About Election Bill
Blogged by Brad Friedman from HoustonÅ 
Radio host Peter B. Collins has been earning his keep of late…. Collins finished up a segment with Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today concerning his efforts to renew the Fairness Doctrine with two quick, unrelated questions.
First, Collins asked whether the Congressman supported the controversial Rush Holt Election Reform Bill (HR 811) “in it’s current form.” The legislation has come under fire from Election Integrity advocates for its continued allowance of the use of dangerous DRE touch-screen voting machines, and a host of other concerns.
Hinchey – who is currently signed on as one of the bill’s co-sponsors – responded by saying he had “some very serious questions about it” and feels that “it has been compromised.”
While there was no time to follow up with details, his comments likely referred to the troubling changes made to the bill by the House Administration Committee. Originally, the legislation had called for complete disclosure of electronic voting system source code to any member of the public interested in examining it. By the time the bill was voted out of committee, however, those important disclosure provisions had been changed to require source code be placed in escrow, to be examined only by so-called “experts” in the event that a problem is discovered during an election, and only under non-disclosure agreements.
Those changes led Holt himself to admit that “the vendors have won” according to reports from several Election Integrity advocates who attended a town hall event where the New Jersey Congressman spoke over the weekend. No word on whether Holt himself may be removing himself as a co-sponsor of the Holt bill in light of his reported admissions.
Allegra Dengler

0 replies on “New Yorkers, call your congressperson NOW to halt HR 811!”

Seems like this is less about state vs. federal control (your first segment of the post) and more about verifiable paper trail and source code transparency.

On that note, is your personal position that a federally-controlled, unified voting policy is not preferable to letting each individual state come up with its own plan? Seems like the latter is a recipe for a tinpot regime where more folks like Harris and Blackwell (or partisan state legislatures) can bend the rules in their favor.

Harris and Blackwell were not acting on behalf of their respective states. They were the creatures of the Bush regime, which, as you surely know, now dominates the US government.

How, then, could a voting system “federally controlled” ensure that we have fair and free elections? You want Bush & Co. to run it even more directly than they do already? (The Holt bill tends in that direction, incidentally, as it augments the authority of the EAC, whose members are appointed by the president.)

In any case, the best solution is not unilateral federal OR state control of our elections, but shared authority——a vital exercise, in short, of checks and balances.

If we had not at some point accepted the idea that electronics are appropriate for voting, we would not be needing standards for these machines to be set by Washington.

All Americans can vote on paper and themselves count the votes in each precinct (average 2000 voters, very manageable). Then we don’t need computers at all, do we?

The problems are caused by having electronics do this at all.

If we stick with the simplicity and transparency of hand-made-out paper ballots, hand counted, then we can have an honest 2008 election and don’t have to wait and wait for machines to be “certified”. We don’t need no “stinkin'” computers for voting.

We can do this ourselves.

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