By 4 p.m. TOMORROW, Tuesday, September 18, 2007, all Representatives in Congress must let the House leadership know how they intend to vote on the Holt Bill - HR 811 - which has been aptly renamed by those of us opposing it as simply "Microsoft 811" .
This terribly convoluted, 60+ page bill is being sold as the ONLY possible solution to the "fatally flawed" voting machines that are used by over 80% of American voters. Those pushing for the passage of HR 811 insist that "It's this bill or nothing!" in order to scare people into supporting it despite its many flaws.
The following is a list of the bill's most "inspired" requirements:
(For explanations of the following points, see below)
2. HR 811 allows the continued use of DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines.
3. HR 811 requires that all DREs produce a "voter-verified paper ballot" which is impossible to do.
5. HR 811 would make the highly partisan and secretive Election Assistance Commission (EAC) a permanent agency.
HR 811 is NOT our only chance to take back our elections from the corporations that now run them with their secretly programmed voting machines.
We should and must demand a better solution...A simpler solution...A solution that is welcoming of all citizens.
We must demand a new bill that bans all electronic voting-counting machines, including both DREs and ballot scanners.
Call your Representative in Congress TODAY to strongly urge him/her to vote "NO" on HR 811, "Microsoft 811".
Also, demand that he/she throws their support behind a new bill that will legislate the use of paper ballots that are hand counted in full public view with all necessary security measures. All results are posted in public view at the precinct level before moving the ballots and the results up the election tabulation ladder. It's that simple.
Go to www.congress.org to find your Representative and call ASAP!
*The following elaborates on each of the "inspired" requirements of HR 811 that are listed above:
1. HR 811 endorses and enshrines in law secret vote-counting. Lobbyists for the software corporations, led by Microsoft, succeeded in rewriting the "disclosure" section of HR 811 this past spring so that the public will not be granted the right to inspect the source code and other programs in the machines as previously written. Obviously, the rights of corporations are deemed more important than the rights of the voters.
2. HR 811 allows the continued use of DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines. DREs include both the touchscreen type and the wheel selector type. Nationally, a number of states have now banned the use of DRE machines altogether because of the mounting evidence that they can be easily hacked, rigged and manipulated so that election outcomes on these machines are readily suspect. Writing that "electronic voting has been an abysmal failure", The New York Times called for a total ban of DRE machines in an editorial about HR 811 published on Sept. 6, 2007.
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