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New Version of Holt Bill: A Giant Step Backwards

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Message Vickie Karp
New Version of Holt Bill: A Giant Step Backwards
Position Statement from Coalition for Visible Ballots


Problem: 80% of America voted on some type of electronic voting machine, or had their paper ballots counted on computerized scanners, in 2006. All types of computerized equipment have been proven to be not only vulnerable to hacking, but cannot be made secure against it.

Reaction: Americans are finally waking up to the fact that computerized voting is a multi-billion dollar scam, probably designed to steal elections, and neatly paid for with our tax dollars. We need election reform!

Solution: Bills such as Rush Holt's described below, designed to look and feel like the answer. Who wouldn't want a "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail"? Problem is, you can add printers to touchscreen voting machines and still end up with plenty of fraud! Problem is, you can still vote on a paper ballot, and if it is counted on a scanner, the election can still be undetectably stolen.

BE AWARE: The media is all "latching on" to proposed solutions such as the bill described below. You have to read between the lines and get your information on election reform from sources other than CNN to really understand the nuances and distinctions involved, and to realize that bills such as HR 811 will (whether intentionally or not) still allow election fraud to be perpetuated, and would further empower the Executive branch over elections. DON'T BE FOOLED!

Details below:

Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey finally released last week the new version of his former HR 550 bill, now modified and called HR 811, calling for voter verified paper trails and a different audit protocol than before. These and many other provisions of this bill are still totally unacceptable to the HCPB (Hand Counted Paper Ballot) community of election reform activists. Bullet points of problems with this bill are eloquently noted by Black Box Voting Director Bev Harris, and include the following problems, just to name a few:

* Deceptive language, calling a paper TRAIL a paper BALLOT. (The bill still allows electronic voting machines;
it's just that now, printers will be added. See BBV's website for report in May 2006 of Hursti hack in Emery County, Utah for description of extensive hacking of Diebold DRE with printer added - note by VK)
* Unfunded or underfunded mandate: Requires text conversion technology in every polling place. BBV
estimates total cost could exceed $1 billion; the bill allots $300 million.
(Once again, the blind and disabled are being used as pawns to mandate yet more technology in voting, when two non-electronic systems, the Vote-PAD and the Equali-Vote, could be used to aid the blind and disabled with unassisted voting - note by V.K.)
* Makes the scandal-ridden EAC (Election Assistance Commission) a permanent fixture and increases its power.
The EAC consists of four members appointed by the White House. This is a critical shifting of power over elections to the Executive Branch of government.
* Allows loss of secret ballots for the Military.
* Audit protocols no one agrees with, which are dependent on "margins of victory"; meaning, the lower the margin of victory, the lesser the degree of auditing that will be executed.
* Loophole allowing machine count to supersede voter verified paper when fuzzily described circumstances arise.

Again, this is just a partial list of complaints with the bill. To see the comprehensive list, please see http://www.blackboxvoting.org, along with responses to each complaint by Holt's office.

ACTION ITEM: Everyone needs to get busy on this one and contact their Representatives who are co-sponsoring this bill and request that they remove their support. Further study on election fraud issues is needed. Please see the letter at http://www.wethepatriots.org, which was sent to the HR 550/now HR 811 co-sponsors in the last few weeks, asking them to STOP their support of this bill, conduct studies, hold hearings, and allow citizen input into the election reform process.

To get the list of HR 811 co-sponsors, Google up: "Rush Holt, HR 811", and click on the list of co-sponsors.

To get the name and contact information for your state Representative, go to http://www.congress.org . Even if they are not currently a co-sponsor, contact them and urge them NOT to sign on to the Holt bill.

If we allow our "Selected Officials" to pass HR 811 or some semblance of it, we will once again find ourselves lost in a sea of election technology, without citizen oversight, with more control by the Executive branch, only this time, citizens will be told that "the e-voting problem is solved, because we have paper trails!"

Without grassroots opposition, this could become a reality within the next few weeks. Please help clear the path for real election reform. Contact your Representative TODAY. Tell them to put a HALT to HOLT!
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Vickie Karp is a realtor, a writer, a speaker, an activist, and a patriot from Austin, Texas. She is active in Coalition for Visible Ballots.
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