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ACTION ALERT! Amend HR811--contact your members of Congress ASAP

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Message Teresa Hommel
Hi Everyone,

We just had a huge success in the NY City Council!! But now we are facing a
federal threat --HR811, the new federal "Voter Confidence and Increased
Accessibility Act of 2007," has some very dangerous flaws.

If these flaws can't be removed via amendment, I believe it is better for
our Congressional Representatives to withdraw their sponsorship and vote
against the bill.

Worst Problem: In response to growing national demand for paper ballots,
HR811 defines a "voter-verified paper trail" from an electronic voting machine
as a paper ballot! But nobody counts the votes on the paper trail to get
election results. No law requires the paper trail to be counted completely (for
example, New York law requires only 3% spot-check). HR811 would cause endless
problems and confusion with state election laws where the term "ballot" means
a voter-marked paper ballot. The "thing" that would be defined as a ballot in
federal law would not have to be counted, according to most state laws, to
determine election results.

Second Worst: HR811 supposedly requires audits, but states with certain
state audit requirements are exempt. A state's audit could consist of merely a
reprint of the tally sheets from electronic voting machines. This is a serious
loophole. It means HR811 allows 100% electronic elections in which neither
the paper trail nor any paper ballots need to be counted.

HR811 could pass the House of Representatives by the end of March!

All Congressional Representatives from NYC need to be contacted with the
demand to amend HR811 or kill it.

This is a strong request, but after seeing the New York City Council stand
up yesterday and say NO INVISIBLE ELECTRONIC BALLOTS, I think we need to ask
our Congressional Representatives to show the same courage and dedication to
democracy. Everyone knows that government behind locked doors is either
corrupt or vulnerable to corruption. Putting our votes inside a computer, where
one can observe, is just as bad. Some people argue that the USA has already
spent $3.5 billion for new electronic voting machines, and no one wants to say
it was a mistake. I'll say it. Will you?

Below are actions you can take NOW.

Teresa Hommel
212 228-3803

ACTION 1. Please call, fax, or email ASAP! All representatives we contacted
prefer fax.
The contact list is at the end of this email.

Make your own letter by copying
Fill in your name, address, and the date

To fax: print the letter, sign your name, and fax it to the Representatives
listed below

To email: copy the letter to each representative who accepts email (see list
If a representative doesn't accept email, just call them and tell them your

ACTION 2. Please forward this email to other New Yorkers!


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Teresa Hommel is a voting activist in NY and chair of the Task Force On Voting Integrity, Community Church of New York.
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