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The Myth of HAVA

By Linda Franz, Black Box Voting  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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The following was originally written by Linda Franz, who was the president of
the board of directors of Black Box Voting for our first year of existence:

* * * * *

HAVA doesn't dictate the replacement of punch cards or the use of touch screens
only for the disabled. Other systems, like the AutoMark and the VotePad could
be used.

What more is being misrepresented?

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Here are some points, from the HAVA Act itself. Included is a link to HAVA. Have
at it, because as a foundation for changes mandated across the country, it
seems a little week. We need to disect this thing and determine if the Act is
as marketed, or if it's simply that- a marketing tool.

THE MYTH OF HAVA (The Help America Vote Act)


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It is not true that counties have to discard punch card voting machines. The
election reform passed by Congress, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) states:

-(B) A state or jurisdiction that uses a paper ballot voting system, a PUNCH
CARD VOTING SYSTEM, or a central count voting system, (including mail-in
absentee ballots and mail-in ballots), MAY MEET THE REQUIREMENTS of
subparagraph (A)(iii)by-
(i) establishing a voter education program specific to that voting system that
notifies each voter of the effect of casting multiple votes for an office; and
(ii) providing the voter with instructions on how to correct the ballot before
it is cast and counted (including instructions on how to correct the error
through the issuance of a replacement ballot if they voter was otherwise unable
to change the ballot or correct any error).

Federal law does not mandate a Touch Screen machine for people with disabilities
at each polling site:

Accessibility for individuals with disabilities-
The Voting system shall-
Satisfy the requirement of subparagraph (A) through the use of at least one
direct recording electronic voting system OR OTHER VOTING SYSTEM equipped for
individuals with disabilities at each polling place.

Disabled-friendly voting systems costing a fraction of what Touch Screens do,
such as BALLOT TEMPLATES, used in Europe and Rhode Island, are acceptable under
the HAVA Act.

Federal legislation requires HAVA implementation by the first federal election
in 2006, which would be in November, not January 1, 2006:

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...will be replaced in time for the first election for Federal office held after
January 1, 2006.

While the clause above includes time frames about punch card and lever
replacement, Title III of the HAVA Act specifically allows punch cards with an
educational program.


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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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