Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rush Holt Legislation Under Microscope

The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act, HR 811, legislation reintroduced by Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ), to amend the Help America Act, caused a stir a few days ago when the bill became publicly available across the internet. With the ease of Internet access, activists the across the country poured over the legislation's details, dissecting line-by-line, the bill's contents.

Election integrity organizations and notable individuals in the nationwide movement to obtain secure elections speedily raised serious concerns.

Our post Rush to Voting Security Flawed? covers the developments.

Postings at the Black Box Voting Forum indicate communications have been received from Holt's office. Noted as Holt Response, the communications appear to cover segments of the new bill undergoing critique at the BBV site.


- Black Box Voting has publicly come out against the Bill
- Open Voting Consortium has publicly come out against the Bill
- Brad Friedman (BradBlog) has publicly come out against the Bill
- Jon Bonifaz ( / Demos) has publicly come out against the Bill
- Paul Lehto has publicly come out against the Bill
- Democracy for New Hampshire has publicly come out against the Bill
- John Gideon (VotersUnite) has publicly refused to support the bill

and there will be more.


Particularly see

Citizen Scrutiny: HOLT BILL 2007 » Holt office response to continued support for DREs

Kathy Dopp

Verified Voting Foundation

National: Rep. Rush Holt introduces H.R. 811, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007

Congression Record
February 6th, 2007

According to page H1209 of the Congressional Record for the U.S. House of Representatives, on February 5, 2007, Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey, along with the following original cosponsors, introduced H.R. 811, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007.

This bill is now posted to the Library of Congress website. An analysis of this bill will be provided soon on Verified Voting's legislation page.

1 comment:

Mark E. Smith said...

Here's a simple analogy that explains how the election audit scam, such as proposed in H.R. 811 works:

Pretend that you're a store clerk and I'm a customer. I buy something for $2.90 and hand you a ten dollar bill. You count out $7.10 in change and hand it to me. I take it from you, recount it, agree that you gave me the correct change, take my receipt, and start to leave the store. The entire exchange is on film because a security camera is placed so that it can clearly film all transactions at the cash register.

But before I can put my money away, the guy standing behind me stops me and says, "Wait. That clerk has cheated people before. You might not have gotten the correct change. I have a super-duper change-counting machine that can verify that you got the correct amount. Here, give me the change you got from the clerk and let me put it in my super-duper machine to make sure you weren't cheated."

If I'm a fool, I'll be intimidated into handing him the money, he puts the $7.10 into his machine, and it spits out $8.10. He now calls the store manager to say that you and I are crooks, we're in cahoots, and that you gave me a dollar too much in change to cheat the store. You, the clerk, and I, the customer, object, but we're hauled off to court on charges of cheating the store. We want to use the videotape of the transaction to prove that it was correct exactly as we had agreed that it was. But when we go to court, the machine guy has his own scientific experts who argue that you and I didn't count the money correctly, the videotape was doctored, and that only his machine count is 100% accurate. When we want to audit his machine, it turns out that only certain experts have the qualifications necessary to audit his machine, and they all agree that his machine is 100% accurate, so there's no way for us to refute them. You're just a store clerk, I'm just a customer, and he has a line-up of highly credentialed mathematicians and computer experts testifying that his machine is accurate and that you and I are both liars and crooks.

The judge (and jury if there is one) is now thoroughly confused, and the verdict could come in either way. The matter is out of our hands and all we can do is wait for the verdict. If the court finds that we were correct in the first place, we both breathe a sigh of relief and I vow never to listen to anyone like that again. But juries sometimes are overly impressed with expert testimony and sometimes judges have been known to take bribes. Since there is a huge amount of money to be made, a large bribe to the judge could be considered a good investment. If the court decides that the machine count was correct, and that you and I and the videotape were wrong, you lose your job, we both could go to jail, all the machine experts collect fat fees for their audits and expert testimony, and on the basis of having caught some "crooks cheating the system," the machine guy goes out and sells his "security system" to a few million stores.

So when somebody tells you that hand counts aren't reliable and that you need machine audits in order to scientifically verify the accuracy of the hand count, no matter how highly credentialed they are and however slick their sales pitch with power point presentation and complex proofs, please tell them that you have full confidence in your own ability and that of your neighbors to count the votes by hand and that you're not buying any machines today, thank you. And if the scam is being run by Members of Congress, tell them that if they persist in trying to con you, you're going to alert every voters' rights group in the country. This advisory is brought to you by a senior citizen opposed to swindles. Permission to reprint granted.