The Alliance for Democracy Alert--Tuesday, September 4, 2007
HR 811 comes to a House vote Wednesday, September 5--tell your Representative to vote NO!
This Wednesday the House of Representatives is expected to vote on H.R. 811.
The original purpose of the bill was to provide a paper trail for the 2008 election. However, the bill has been so rewritten that it is unrecognizable to the experts originally consulted.
Because it requires a computerized text conversion device in every polling place, H.R. 811 would effectively rule out handcounted paper ballots, or non-computerized voter assistive devices that are accessible, less costly, and that avoid computerized vote counting. These text conversion devices represent an under-funded mandate for states, and a windfall for the e-voting industry.
The bill also gives the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), composed of four White House appointees, responsibility for setting specifications for all voting equipment - DRE and paper ballots - in every state, as well as vote-counting and recount procedures. None of the states will be able to legislate their own security requirements if this bill passes, and progress on the state level barring the use of electronic voting machines will be undone.
Not surprisingly, H.R. 811 is opposed by the National Association of Counties, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of Secretaries of State.
For a more detailed description of the EAC's proposed powers, see this article written by Nancy Tobi, who has been following the EAC since it was set up in 2002. For additional info and talking points, see "This Week's Actions" at Election Defense Alliance's website.
Take a few moments and phone or fax your Representative in Congress and tell them to vote against H.R. 811. If you don't know your Representative's number, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.