Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rush Holt Paper Audit Trail Bill HR 811 Scrutinized

H.R. 811: Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007
To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require a voter-verified permanent paper ballot under title III of such Act, and for other purposes.

To cite this information, we recommend the following: H.R. 811--110th Congress (2007): Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007, (database of federal legislation) (accessed May 17, 2007)

National: Text of H.R. 811 as amended by the Committee on House Administration by Robert Kibrick, Legislative Analyst May 11th, 2007

On May 8, the Committee on House Administration (chaired by Rep. Robert Brady of Pennsylvania), during its consideration and mark-up session on H.R. 811, adopted a substitute amendment by Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who chairs the Comittee's Elections subcommittee. That amendment completely replaces the text of H.R. 811, as originally introduced by Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey in February 2007.

While much of the language of the Lofgren substitute is identical to that of the original H.R. 811, some of the substitute's provisions differ in a number of significant ways. Those differences are intended to address various concerns raised during hearings held by the Committee's Elections subcommittee earlier this year.

In addition, during the May 8 mark-up session, the Committee considered several other amendments, some to amend the original text of H.R. 811 and others to amend the Lofgren substitute. Most of those other amendments were not approved by the Committee. However, two amendments to the Lofgren substitute were approved:

1. An amendment, offered by Rep. Charles Gonzalez of Texas, providing two technical corrections.

2. An amendment, offered by Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts, enabling voters in elections for Federal office to request and receive a paper ballot.

As a result, the current text of H.R. 811, as approved by the Committee and referred to the full House, is reflected by the Lofgren substitute as amended by the Gonzalez and Capuano amendments:...

Related to be separately covered herein

Recommendations for Hand Counted Paper Ballots and discussion includes sample letter

Notes divergent groups opposing HR 811

Rebuttal to Dill's Support of the HR 811 Trojan Horse
by Nancy Tobi OpEd News Friday 27 April 2007

... (And it should be noted here that the bill is opposed by a strange group of often oppositional bedfellows: the voting industry, the National Association of Secretaries of States, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, The Election Center, the American Association of Persons with Disabilities, and election integrity activist organizations and individuals nationwide.) ...


Katherine said...

Please don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Please show your support for this important piece of election reform legislation now, before the opportunity is lost. Well-informed activists who oppose this bill have nothing to offer in its place that stands a chance of passing. Let's pass this legislation now, and improved legislation in the future. Call your representative and ask for support of HR 811 - now!

Net the Truth Online said...

Thank you for the post. However, it appears much more scrutiny and dissection of the Holt HR 811 is needed prior to further consideration and its adoption.

My understanding is much of its contents have not been scrutinized by the very people who are to vote upon it - our elected representatives. They've been given a summary and have neglected to become fully informed of all of the details such as retention of the EAC.

It is a matter of the legislation being "perfect." Why should we expect anything less than perfect?

I believe it is misguided to pass the legislation now, with its imperfections, and "hope" for Congress to act again sometime in the future to "fix" it, yet again.

Isn't that what happened with the initial HAVA legislation in the first place.

But more importantly, where has Congress found this power to impose on the states how to conduct a presidential election?

With the HAVA act Congress overstepped its bounds - imposing in a roundabout way - (voluntary) requirements on the states which they have no business intruding upon as the federal government has no Constitutional basis for its action.

"The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States."

Federal power is limited to those given to it.

Congress doesn't have a Constitutional power to tell the states to replace voting systems in exchange for federal monies.

True voting activists who are well-informed on the U.S. Constitution should be storming Congress to stop HR 811 and to revoke HAVA.

We should be storming state legislatures to take back their Constitutional power.