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Why the Rush Holt bill (HR550) is dangerous

By Bev Harris, Black Box Voting  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)     Permalink
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There is a major push right now to pass H.B. 550, a bill put forth by Rep. Rush
Holt to mandate a paper trail (along with a flimsy audit that no accountant
would agree is adequate).

Election reform groups are split on whether they support H.B. 550. Black Box
Voting normally does not weigh in on legislation, this time we will. Citizens
need to be informed of the dangers as well as the benefits when being urged to
support legislation.

Like an antibiotic that's too weak, we belive that H.B. 550 will create a more
resistant strain of election infection.

Like a placebo, people may think the election system is getting well when in
fact, the medicine is only a sugar pill that makes everyone think it's better.
For a minute.

Paul Lehto, an attorney who is a leader in the election reform movement and the
plaintiff in a groundbreaking lawsuit related to electronic voting, has a
unique clarity in public policy issues. Lehto says:

"[the] paper record requirement, combined with a worse than anemic audit
feature, is so darn dangerous in terms of its ability to create false

"Putting into the Holt bill a provision specifying the method of EAC audit (2%
or more precinct sampling) simply telegraphs to cheaters how to cheat and not
get caught..."
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Any major political movement has the inside game and the outside game

The inside game involves writing letters, lobbying, cozying up to legislators,
and in the case of a privatization issue like voting machines, meeting with
vendors and working with regulatory groups.

The outside game involves investigative work, communications on subjects even
when they are considered impolite, exposés, agitation, occasional civil
disobedience, and an overwhelming push to give citizens power over those who
govern them.

The inside game resists the outside game

Those who play the inside game tend to believe that the outside game is
undisciplined, a bunch of mavericks, endangers the goal. The inside game is
polite, conciliatory, respects authority and likes to tell others what to do.
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"Support H.B. 550 it's good push this button send this email now."

Those who question and probe are painted as irresponsible.

There is no doubt that Black Box Voting usually plays the outside game. We know
we'll be attacked from within the movement -- from the establishment-oriented
inside game - for taking the position that H.B. 550 is will do more damage than

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