Monday, January 21, 2008

Rush Holt Bill Review Questions

H.B. 5036 Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008

open congress site

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bill prods states to drop paperless voting machines
Friday, January 18, 2008
By Karamagi Rujumba, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A New Jersey Democratic congressman yesterday introduced legislation that would offer $600 million to jurisdictions that convert to paper ballot systems or update voting machines to provide verifiable paper trails before next fall's presidential election.

The bill, called the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008, would reimburse state and local jurisdictions if they change their systems before the November balloting, said Rep. Rush Holt, sponsor.

Voters in all or parts of 20 states now cast ballots electronically without backup paper verification, Mr. Holt said. "Millions of Americans will be voting on unreliable electronic machines without paper ballots," he said. "There will be questions that cannot be resolved, because there is no way of determining a voter's intention. All you have is an electronic memory. This plan provides an incentive for states or localities that want to do the right thing."

...The New Jerseyan's new legislation would authorize $500 million to reimburse jurisdictions now using paperless voting machines after they convert to paper-based systems. It would also reimburse localities that don't fully convert to a paper-based system, but provide emergency paper ballots that would be counted as regular ballots in the event of machine failure.

Additionally, it would authorize $100 million for jurisdictions that conduct audits that meet minimum requirements.

Related item proposes need for redundant record of votes cast using paper ballot method having both the paper ballot and the memory card record of votes.

Dan Tokaji's blog
Saturday, December 15
EVEREST: Ohio's Voting System Report

With a precinct-count system, there's at least a redundant record of the votes cast -- both the ballot and the record of votes stored in the memory card. No such redundancy is present with votes placed in a ballot box, to later be counted at a central location.

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