Monday, April 09, 2007

Election Activists in Dispute

Apparently, election activists are in dispute concerning positions which have been taken on Rush Holt's latest election bill, version HR 811...

The situation gets curiouser and curiouser. We really can't get to the heart of the personal dispute that seems to have arisen between Bev Harris of Black Box Voting and Kathy Dopp. It seemed the pair were on the same page as late as March 29, 2007

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Whatever that dispute turns out to be, the bottom line is that the current Rush Holt Bill HR 811 for a variety of reasons has been shown to be lacking by the very activists and election integrity organizations which have had longstanding input into the issues related to the electronic direct recording machines, voting security, voter verified paper ballots, voter verifiable paper audit trails, etc.

I don't agree with everything at BBV Forum's. However, the Black Box Voting Forum goes line by line into analyzing the Holt bill in its current form and presents convincing arguments to hold off until everything is sorted out.

Others, dozens it appears, similarly contend

CONGRESS: HR 811 Unsafe for Democracy! Amend or End!

Rush Holt's HR 811 urgently needs reform

Coalition for Voting Integrity

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Who can possibly continue to support a bill that has major election organizations and activists so bent on opposing it? Why hasn't Rush Holt pulled his bill out of such a contentious atmosphere?

Holt responds to Bev Harris critiques of the former HR 550 introduced by Holt in the last session of Congress

Black Box Voting opposes Rush Holt bill, calling it "dangerous" By Bev Harris
Online Journal Guest Writer Apr 10, 2006, 01:50

What does Holt have to gain by keeping the current bill reintroduced as HR 811 as is with all of the continued legitimate opposition to it?

Holt Reintroduces Voting Integrity Bill

Why do supporters of the Holt Bill remain so steadfast?

In support of the Holt bill

Holt's bill - which amends the Help America Vote Act of 2002 - received attention nationwide after being presented in the last Congress.

I have to say, in 2004, I apprised my local board of commissioners sitting as the election board of the previous Holt legislation because at the time, activists were demanding a voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) for all and any of the touchscreen direct recording electronic voting systems yet to be adopted by local election officials.

Since then, there have been legitimate questions posed about electronic voting machines that were implemented in compliance with HAVA even those which maintain the VVPATs. Those questions must be sorted out before any new fix-it federal legislation is proposed and adopted.

I'm not convinced that only a paper ballot is the way to go. I'm not fond of solely manual counted paper ballots.

I urged my county commissioners to adopt both the DRE system they were bent on the Hart Intercivic eSlate, and the paper ballot with optical scanner/reader Hart Intercivic eScan.

They were advised by their local election bureau director to go with only an electronic direct recording based voting system without the paper ballot.

There are apparently more than enough objections being raised now after the call for VVPATs to take a cautious route and hold off on any legislation until all of those concerns can be addressed in hopefully a public forum so all of the issues are before the voting public.

Holt's bill should have unanimous support among all of the longstanding activists and organizations dedicated to seeing clean and trustable elections. It doesn't.

I often wonder whether political motivations aren't in play just to see something passed that seems like a solution to the former complaints. On the other hand, I wonder as well why a complete block of any voting technology and reliance on paper ballots with a manual count as those have been proven to be able to be frauded, manufactured and prone to human error?

The absentee paper ballots continue to be able to be frauded precisely because of inaccurate voter registration rolls.

I wish most of the activists would also support voter identification and purge of inaccurate voter registration databases, first and foremost.

Unfortunately, many of the same orgs and activists who profess they want clean and trustable elections don't see an accurate voter registration database as a must. That confounds me.

Meanwhile, there is an election around the corner and I can just hear the people who come in to use the DRE voting machines complaining they heard this or that - no wonder they are confused when so much confusion is going around.

And still, the same complainers don't approach their local election boards and demand a purge of the deceased names, people who have moved from the state, or county, and so forth, yet whose names remain in the database ripe for abuse.

Back to Bev Harris and Kathy Dopp's dispute. The Black Box Voting Homepage doesn't clarify or name the false statement being addressed, however it contains the comment:

CORRECTION AND REBUTTAL OF FALSE PRESS RELEASE: A false statement is being propagated by an individual regarding the position of Black Box Voting and software disclosure. If you have any questions as to our REAL position on software disclosure, feel free to email or post them in the forums here.

Just say upfront what the false statement is and who made it.

I just happened to come upon the incident between Bev Harris and Kathy Dopp while searching for information about polls of all sorts from a variety of resources.

April 8, 2007 at 00:45:57
Election Reform Groups Formally Oppose Public Disclosure of All Voting System Software. by Kathy Dopp
Page 1 of 3 page(s)

Read on site:

Bev Harris of Black Box Voting responds to Kathy Dopp who then responds...

A false press release and an exercise in disinformation. Requesting that the editor remove this false press release.

by BevHarris (0 articles, 9 comments) on Sunday, April 8, 2007 at 11:53:52 AM

Bev - Tell me ONE thing that is not true & I'll Retract it

Bev, I've used the EXACT words of the position paper you signed to describe your opinion.

You have refused since March to justify your position for a COTS exemption.

Justify it rather than trying to hide the fact that you've taken it...

Dopp Article in full length:

Above item referenced as posted by Mark Rauterkus @ 7:34 PM on

Reference found bottom of pages at:

(searching for polls)

Item reprint, reference to original and commentary found at


Friday, March 30, 2007 One Page Letter flaws in current election reform bills

National Election Data Archive (NEDA)

Kathy Dopp

People for American Way

Democracy Campaign Update March 29, 2007

This is a big week for election reform – and PFAW’s work in the Democracy Campaign – on several fronts.

The Committee on House Administration is voting to mark up Rep. Rush Holt’s Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (H.R. 811), which would solve many of the security and accountability problems with ALL voting machines before the 2008 elections. And the House Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up H.R. 1281, the House version of Sen. Obama’s Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act. The movement of this bill is a giant step toward stopping individuals and groups that use intimidation and misinformation to disenfranchise voters (who are often targeted by race or economic status).

And in the states…

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