URGENT! TAKE 5 MINUTES TO BETTER SECURE 2008 ELECTION & OUR DEMOCRACY
NO to HR “Microsoft’ 811
YES to better securing 2008 Election starting with DRE BAN!
This week, the House may vote on a bill that has the potential to privatize our elections, putting them in the hands of corporations, and taking them away from us, we the people, unless we do something about it. That’s right. The “Microsoft 811” (H.R. 811) will get its final review by the rules committee, and then will likely come to a vote, unless we keep trying to stop it. The integrity of our vote, our elections, is at stake. It is up to we the people to protect our most precious right, our democracy. We cannot allow our elections to be turned over to corporations or special interest groups. No law or government should force us to use machines that are unsecure, unreliable, and unprovable to our source vote. Experts have reported repeatedly that these machines are “…fatally flawed… unfixable”. These same experts say that the addition of a printer and a piece of paper to a DRE touchscreen is NOT the answer. Rather, it could create even bigger problems. Can we afford another election on fatally flawed machines? What can we the people do in order to ensure our elections remain in our hands rather than in those of corporations and special interest groups?
Here’s what to do:
Floor vote possible: Call, fax or email your Representative—Tell them to vote NO on HR 811,
more accurately titled 'Microsoft 811’
Tell your representatives that this bill bears very little resemblance to the original bill that was introduced in 2003. A key provision would allow the software developers to keep their source code private. To find more information about this issue, see link 'Microsoft 811' Holt: "It's no longer my bill." (http://www.coalitionforvotingintegrity.org/). Holt has said about his bill this summer at a Town Meeting:
"The bill has been changed since I introduced it. It's no longer my bill -- well, it's still my bill but it's been marked up in committee."
"Unfortunately, the committee that made this change heard from Microsoft. They heard that Voice. The point is Microsoft did lobby strongly. It wasn't just Microsoft. It was everybody who--…it was software -- the software industry."
There is something seriously wrong when a U.S. Congressman can say that an election reform bill he introduced was significantly changed through the lobbying effort of Microsoft and the software industry ...that their voices were heard! Since when was the rule passed in Congress that whoever lobbies hardest gets to determine the content of U.S. legislation?
Tell your representatives that we must ban DREs. Let them know that adding a printer to the machine will not solve any problems. In his interview on Voice of the Voters (see audio archive on 8/29/07 at http://www.coalitionforvotingintegrity.org/) John Bonifaz legal director of VoterAction asserts
“…obviously, there will be some who say that, since they can verify their vote, then they can be sure that their vote is going to be properly counted. But, as we have discussed, when a computer can be hacked, can be rigged, or can malfunction, with respect to the printing out of that paper trail, I don’t think that has rectified the problem in any way, whatsoever.”
Moreover, in his Voice of the Voters interview on 8/29/07, on the California Top to Bottom Review, Matt Blaze reports just how deeply flawed and unfixable these machines are.
"...the software mechanisms that are intended to secure the systems can be defeated very, very easily..."
"...I frankly was surprised that the systems we looked at had passed certification. ..."
"....I think they’re fatally flawed, and that puts us in a real bind... "
Please encourage your friends and neighbors to join in having the rules committee hear OUR voices.. Many of us have been doing this and have fought long and hard for our cause. Now, it’s your turn to stand up and be counted. Perhaps you feel as though it’s a "done deal", and that your voice doesn’t count. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every voice counts in this battle to save our democracy. In New York, Bo Lopari and his comrades fought to save their elections and WON against Microsoft and the DRE vendors. (See Voice of the Voters audio archive on 6/27/07) Now is not the time to give up! After all, it’s not just about voting machines; it’s about taking our elections and our country back!
Our struggle has not been in vain. It’s still not too late for two thousand and eight.
Committee on Rules
LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER, NY - CHAIR (D)
http://www.louise. house.gov/ index.php? option=com_ content&task=view&id=39&Itemid=84
Phone: (202) 225-3615
Fax: (202) 225-7822
JAMES P. McGOVERN, MA (D)
http://mcgovern. house.gov/ ?sectionid= 2§iontree= 2
Phone: (202) 225-6101
Fax: (202) 225-5759