Contrary to what most well-intentioned Congresspersons and election activists believe,
Holt's HR 811 does not solve the problems it claims to!
Allegedly crafted to fix the huge problems caused by the disastrous "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA), this bill has morphed into a dangerously over-complicated, impossible to comply with, ambiguously worded bill that hands over unprecedented powers and funding to an EXECUTIVE BRANCH-CHOSEN committee of four persons, the EAC. Instead of being the promised remedy, this bait-and-switch bill will ultimately only further enrich voting machine corporations while promoting the false notion that our elections will now be secure. It would dangerously codify into federal law many provisions that may cause more severe problems than they solve, and will be extremely difficult to fix later on.
WE NEED CONGRESS TO FULLY ADDRESS ALL THE CONCERNS WITH THIS BILL BEFORE IT IS PASSED. We need to make sure the bill actually does what it's been advertised to do - restore a system of checks and balances to our elections, by making them secure, accurate, and easily conductible by citizens. Some provisions that need scrutiny or elimination:
- Bill allows continued use of DRE voting systems, in which votes are electronically cast, stored and tabulated. These cannot ever be proven accurate and need to be eliminated. Throwing printers on them to produce software-generated, voter-verified paper records offers a totally false sense of security (impossible to prove the "verified" vote is actually tabulated, most errors are never caught, adds more complexity and expense to the system, etc.); it's NOT a solution.
- Bill takes most control of our elections out of the hands of state and local election officials and citizens, and instead gives it to the EAC, a four-person, temporary federal committee that would be made permanent. More requirements, many without adequate foresight, funding or timetables, will be federally mandated, causing incalculable problems in the same manner that HAVA did. With its complexity and potential for abuse and mismanagement, this bill is not an answer.
- Many requirements are either too restrictive for jurisdictions, too lenient for corporations, or impossible to comply with. Many complex provisions involving software disclosure requirements are actually irrelevant, because they ultimately are impossible to understand or prove accurate. To claim they are merely offers more false security.
- Audit provisions seem inadequate to provide statistically relevant and accurate election results. (See http://blackboxvoting.org/ for an in-depth discussion of this)