Friday, June 15, 2007

From Media Mouse: Ehlers Introduces Voting "Reform" Legislation

Media Mouse has the scoop:

Last month, Grand Rapids area Congressional Representative Vern Ehlers Republican) introduced the Voting Enhancement and Security Act of 2007 (HR 2360) in the House of Representatives. The bill would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to establish state guidelines for an independent and verifiable voting record on electronic machines, require state auditors to certify audit plans, and require states to develop contingency plans and emergency ballot protocols.

Republicans on the House Administration committee--on which Ehlers is a ranking member--are urging their colleagues in the House to vote for Ehlers' bill instead of another popular voting reform bill known as HR 811. That bill would require that electronic voting machines generate voter-verified paper trails and require them to be in place by 2008 and would require mandatory audits of a portion of precincts in federal races. A key difference is that Ehlers' bill does not require changes by the 2008 election, nor does it require the paper trails that many voting reform organizations have sought. Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice Under Law of New York University said that Ehlers' bill "does nothing to address the serious voting system security vulnerabilities experts have identified" and cites it as an example of Republicans using the tough deadline imposed under HR 811 to ensure that Congress does not address the security and accuracy of voting machines.

However, some critics of HR 811's deadlines have introduced legislation
calling for paper trails. On May 25, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the Ballot Integrity Act of 2007 that would implement safeguards to prevent errors and tampering at the polls, require states to use voting systems with voter-verified paper records subject to public manual audits in the 2010 federal elections, and ensure that voters are not denied the right to vote by faulty purges of voting rolls.

1 comment:

PR Finn said...

All of these electronic voting bills are abominations -- the votes are counted in complete trade secrecy. Who wants the other party to have control over that?

If we can't kick out a corrupt incumbent (who can manipulate a computerized voting device as easily as we can manipulate our own personal computers) we're not a free people. The right to only be able to vote out an honest insider is no right at all.

It's incredible that Congress will vote, for the first time in history, to approve having ITS OWN elections counted secretly. (previously this trade secrecy claims arose only by contract) Isn't their re-election rate of around 98% good enough?

The debate over the details, above, misses the really big issues here, but then so does everywhere else that is discussing these bills.