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Protect Voting Machines: Demand Paper Records

SUBJECT: Protect Voting Machines: Demand Paper Records


Dear MoveOn member,

Last week, scores of MoveOn members traveled thousands of miles to Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to guarantee every voting machine will keep paper records. With their help, we're closer than ever to passing crucial federal legislation. Now, our friends at Common Cause are trying to carry that momentum forward with a great new plan.

Touch-screen voting machines rely on computers to count votes, but there's no hard copy backup in case of a crash and no way to detect tampering. From North Carolina to Ohio to Texas, votes have been lost or miscounted.1

Common Cause's new plan is an exciting development, but they need to raise a lot of money to make it happen. No matter where you live, this is something you can do for election reform. Our goal is to raise $150,000 to kick off this effort.

We're looking for 15,000 of us to chip in $10 for secure voting machines. You can contribute to Common Cause directly at:

As we work to get progressives out to vote, we also need to make sure those votes are counted accurately. For over two years, MoveOn members have been fighting for a paper record of every vote. We've won this fight in more than 25 states, and MoveOn members have pressed for H.R. 550—the gold standard for federal paper record bills—at every key moment. Together, we have made thousands of phone calls and hundreds of in-person visits to our representatives in Congress. (You can check out a list of our accomplishments below.)

As many voting experts have observed, passing H.R. 550 won't solve all our voting woes immediately. But the bill's mandatory audit of voter-verified paper records is the essential first step to expose glitches and fraud in our election system.2 H.R. 550 will make possible even more progress on election integrity.

Common Cause has crafted a massive new push for a federal law requiring a paper record of every vote. The plan targets key members of Congress who are ignoring insecure voting machines. As we approach the November election, they'll raise the profile of this issue with newspaper editorials and media coverage of new polling data showing the scope of public concern.

The plan will also get state election officials to pressure Congress directly to require paper records. And Common Cause will host nationwide house parties featuring a powerful new documentary on voting machines. MoveOn members will be involved every step of the way, starting by funding this exciting new plan.

Can you pitch in $10 to launch Common Cause's new plan for secure voting machines?

Last week, Common Cause and other leading election integrity groups organized meetings in Washington, D.C., for citizens to urge Congress to pass H.R. 550. We invited MoveOn members who have signed our election integrity petitions, and 75 made the trip at their own expense. Here are a few reports from MoveOn members:

The light bulb in [the Congressional aide's] eyes went on when I mentioned that my fellow citizens couldn't understand why any one of their representatives would not co-sponsor this bill. Weren't they for insuring democratic elections? If citizens don't think that their vote counts, they won't vote.
–Lynne C., Thurmont, Maryland

A delegation of concerned citizens speaking directly to a Congressperson or their representative armed with specific "talking points" that anticipated and addressed their questions and concerns was very effective.
–Paul M., Bristow, Virginia

[The Congressional aide] promised that by the end of the day he would talk to the Congressman who would most likely sign on as a cosponsor. He kept his promise and by 6:00 we had another cosponsor!
–Carolyn F., Cambridge, Massachusetts

This sort of grassroots dedication has helped guarantee secure voting machines in state after state and built momentum on the federal level. Now, with this new strategic plan, we can succeed in requiring every voting machine in the country to keep paper records.

Thank you for all you do.

–Noah, Eli, Ben, Nita and the Political Action Team
Monday, April 10th, 2006

P.S. If you're not hearing about our election integrity work, you're probably not signed onto any of our election integrity petitions. You can read about the work MoveOn members are doing below, and you can sign up to stay in the loop at:

P.P.S. Here's how MoveOn members worked for election integrity in 2005:

• We advocated nationally for paper records. Thousands of MoveOn members called Congress seeking to make sure every vote is recorded securely and accurately. Hundreds met with Congressional representatives face to face.

• In North Carolina, Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut, and California, we won legislation requiring electronic voting machines to print paper records. Phone calls by MoveOn members played a big role in these victories—showing legislators that the public was watching. This year, 19 more states required a paper record of every vote, bringing the total to 27. More than half the states now guarantee reliable voting machines.

• In Connecticut, members helped pass the most sweeping campaign finance reform in the nation's history, setting a new standard for fighting corruption. We worked closely with groups like Public Campaign and Common Cause to add pressure at key moments.

• In Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, members are successfully beating back Republican efforts to make voting harder for people of color, elderly, disabled, and low-income voters. Members have stopped provisions requiring every voter to have a photo ID and disenfranchising former prisoners who've served their time.

• In Ohio, we supported investigations into voting machine discrepancies. Member donations funded legal action that dug up secret electronic voting machine records and paper documents to compare them to and supported a national voting machine expert in analyzing the data. This analysis is being used to fight for accountable voting machines for next time.


1. "N.C. House Approves New Voting Machine Restrictions," Associated Press, August 11, 2005
"Voting machine error gives Bush 3,893 extra votes in Ohio," Associated Press, November 5, 2004

"Vote spike blamed on program snafu," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 9, 2006

2. " Urges Support H.R. 550 for Voter-Verified Paper Records—Still The 'Gold Standard,'", April 4, 2006

Support our member-driven organization: Political Action is entirely funded by our 3.3 million members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support our work, you can give now at:

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


MoveOn members are making exciting progress in demanding more secure voting machines. Now we have our best chance yet to guarantee paper records of every vote nationwide. If you can give just $10, our friends at Common Cause can kick off a strategic new effort.

Donate to Common Cause

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