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Bill Introduced to Counter Voting Machine Fraud

This is a countermedia dispatch from HeadBlast. A ray of hope for Democracy.

New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt introduced a bill to require a mandatory paper trail for the voting process.

Voting machines with secret workings do not satisfy the minimal requirements of transparency and verifiability of a democratic process. This is extremely important and Holt needs a great outpouring of support for this. There is no more important issue right now. As Mark Crispin Miller recently put it, "The Democrats could run the most brilliant campaign in history and it wouldn't matter. They could elect Charley Manson president with those machines."

All members of Congress need to hear from their constituents about this. Here is something really meaningful we can do. For the text of the bill, see Representative Rush Holt's website ( http://holt.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=5996). To contact your congressperson, see this Congressional Database: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/. The Congressional switchboard number is (202) 224 3121.

To send support to Representative Holt, here is contact info: Honorable Rush Holt United States House of Representatives 1019 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-3012 DC Phone: 202-225-5801 DC Fax: 202-225-6025 Email Address: http://holt.house.gov/feedback.cfm?campaign=holt District Office: 50 Washington Road West Windsor, NJ 08550-1012 Voice: 609-750-9365 Fax: 609-750-0618

For the definitive source of information on the voting machine crisis, see

http://blackboxvoting.com

Here is information from the website of Congressman Rush Holt:

ON ELECTION DAY 2004, HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOUR VOTE IS PROPERLY COUNTED?

ANSWER: YOU WON’T

Rep. Rush Holt Introduces Legislation to Require All Voting Machines To Produce A Voter-Verified Paper Trail

Washington, DC – Rep. Rush Holt today responded to the growing chorus of concern from election reform specialists and computer security experts about the integrity of future elections by introducing reform legislation, The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003. The measure would require all voting machines to produce an actual paper record by 2004 that voters can view to check the accuracy of their votes and that election officials can use to verify votes in the event of a computer malfunction, hacking, or other irregularity. Experts often refer to this paper record as a “voter-verified paper trail.”

“We cannot afford nor can we permit another major assault on the integrity of the American electoral process,” said Rep. Rush Holt. “Imagine it’s Election Day 2004. You enter your local polling place and go to cast your vote on a brand new “touch screen” voting machine. The screen says your vote has been counted. As you exit the voting booth, however, you begin to wonder. How do I know if the machine actually recorded my vote? The fact is, you don’t.”…

Key provisions of The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003 include:

1) Requires all voting systems to produce a voter-verified paper record for use in manual audits and recounts. For those using the increasingly popular ATM-like “DRE”(Direct Recording Electronic) machines, this requirement means the DRE would print a receipt that each voter would verify as accurate and deposit into a lockbox for later use in a recount. States would have until November 2003 to request additional funds to meet this requirement.

2) Bans the use of undisclosed software and wireless communications devices in voting systems.

3) Requires all voting systems to meet these requirements in time for the general election in November 2004. Jurisdictions that feel their new computer systems may not be able to meet this deadline may use an existing paper system as an interim measure (at federal expense) in the November 2004 election.

4) Requires that electronic voting system be provided for persons with disabilities by January 1, 2006 -- one year earlier than currently required by HAVA. Like the voting machines for non-disabled voters, those used by disabled voters must also provide a mechanism for voter-verification, though not necessarily a paper trail. Jurisdictions unable to meet this requirement by the deadline must give disabled voters the option to use the interim paper system with the assistance of an aide of their choosing.

5) Requires mandatory surprise recounts in 0.5% of domestic jurisdictions and 0.5% of overseas jurisdictions.

ENDS

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