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11 state and local organization reject Holt Bill (HR811)

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National Governors Association (NGA)
National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS)
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Council of State Governments (CSG)
National Association of Counties (NACo)
National League of Cities (NLC)
U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)
National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT)
National Association of Election Officials (Election Center)
National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC)
International Assn of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers (IACREOT)

September 18, 2007

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:

The undersigned organizations representing state and local governments across the nation respectfully urge you to resist bringing H.R. 811, the “Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007”, to the House floor during the first session of the 110th Congress.

The majority of states already require a voter-verified paper record of every voter’s vote. H.R. 811 would preempt those laws, requiring states to replace equipment they purchased to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 – even if it already offers a voter-verified paper trail – with technology that does not exist yet. As a result, it imposes an unfunded federal mandate of unknown proportions. In addition, it contains unnecessary and overly broad requirements for many states to enact hasty changes to their voting laws in the 14 months remaining between now and the 2008 Presidential election.

Achieving meaningful and functional election reform requires an intergovernmental partnership among federal, state and local units of government. However, state and local officials were not adequately involved in the process of drafting and vetting this legislation and it is fraught with problems. We urge you to ask the House Administration Committee to bring state and local officials to the table to work together to write legislation that has meaningful and realistic standards and allows sufficient time, flexibility and funding for implementation to assure every American voter of the integrity of our elections.

For additional information on our organizations’ concerns with H.R. 811, please have your staff contact any of the individuals listed below.

Sincerely,

National Governors Association (NGA)

David Parkhurst, 202-624-5328/dparkhurst@nga.org

National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS)
Leslie Reynolds, 202-624-3526/reynolds@sso.org

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Susan Parnas Frederick, 202-624-3566/susan.frederick@ncsl.org

Council of State Governments (CSG)
Jim Brown, 202-624-5460/jbrown@csg.org

National Association of Counties (NACo)
Alysoun McLaughlin, 202-942-4254/amclaughlin@naco.org

National League of Cities (NLC)
Christina Fletcher Loftus, 202-626-3173/loftus@nlc.org

U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)
Larry Jones, 202-861-6709/ljones@usmayors.org

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