Important Decision on Voting Machines This Week: Urge House to Vote "Yes" on HR811

9/3/2007

National Election Data Archive (NEDA)

"The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (House Resolution 811) is coming to the House floor on Thursday, September 6. The National Election Data Archive has done a thorough yet simple, straightforward, and easy-to-read analysis of The Voter Confidence & Increased Accessibility Act (HR811). It is posted on-line at:

ANALYSIS OF "VOTER CONFIDENCE AND INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY ACT" (HR811) //electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Analysis-HR811-Aug2007.pdf

The National Election Data Archive urges the US House to vote "Yes" for House Resolution 811.

HR811 WILL BE VOTED ON THIS WEEK

HR811 is on the agenda for the House Rules Committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon (which usually means a vote the next day, Thursday, September 6), and is listed as being on the voting schedule in the Majority Leader's "Weekly Leader" e-mail update that went out yesterday for next week. //www.rules.house.gov/comm_schedule110.htm //www.majorityleader.gov/docUploads/027%20Weekly%20083107.pdf

The US House should vote "Yes" for House Resolution 811 and "No" for the "unfunded mandate" amendment that would gut the requirement for paper ballots and manual election audits in 2008.


PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW - IT IS A CRITICAL JUNCTURE FOR US DEMOCRACY & OUR FUTURE - YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW TO PROTECT 2008 ELECTIONS

HR811 must be passed by October 2007 to provide jurisdictions currently using paperless DRE voting machines sufficient time to replace them with auditable voting equipment in order to conduct manual election audits for the November 2008 Federal election. The bill's 2008 deadlines must be preserved to protect the integrity of the 2008 Federal elections.

Please take action to support the immediate passage of HR811 in the US House.

Federal election reform legislation is urgently needed prior to the November 2008 election.

CONTACT YOUR U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE YOURSELF
(Faxes are especially effective.) //www.house.gov

and ask your Representative to "Vote 'Yes' for HR811 but vote 'No' for the "unfunded mandate" amendment."

OR USE THIS SOAPBOX

I set up a Congress.org soapbox to use to contact your House Representative by email or letter (a letter is hand delivered for an $8.95 fee, but emails are free.)

Click on //capwiz.com/congressorg/sbx/f/?aid=10254906&r=1

- as the subject type in something like "Vote 'Yes' on HR811 and 'No' on the "unfunded mandate" amendment" - deselect your Senators (This only needs to go to House Representatives) - select "printed letter" or "email" or "extra Impact" and select an "Issue Area" - type in your own name and sender information - fill in the "message booster" information if you have time.

Here is a sample letter you could send to own U.S. Representative:

----- sample letter-------

Please vote "Yes" on House Resolution 811 and vote "No" on the "unfunded mandate" amendment to it that would gut the requirement for paper ballots and manual election audits in 2008.

Here is an easy-to-read, understandable analysis of HR811's provisions: //electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Analysis-HR811-Aug2007.pdf

It is time for all 50 States to have verifiably honest accurate elections - and taxpayers deserve more economical voting systems.

Many states have no paper ballots, and even more have no audits of their elections - never comparing voter verifiable paper records with the unofficial vote counts; and many use inaccurate voting systems which have been decertified or scrapped states such as CA, MD, FL,...; leaving them with no way to judge the integrity of their vote counts and electoral process.

The United States needs "The Voter Confidence & Increased Accessibility Act" (H.R. 811).

Together with the $300 Million authorized by the House, States have $1.6+ Billion available in remaining HAVA funding and can afford to meet the 2008 deadlines. See how much money your state has left of HAVA funding on pp. 8 and 9 in the US Election Assistance report //www.eac.gov/docs/Congressional%20Report%20Public%20Release%20Final.pdf

There is plenty of time for states with paperless electronic voting systems to replace them with auditable voting equipment. See how long it takes States to replace voting systems in Verified Voting's "How Long Does it Take to Change a Voting System?" //electionmathematics.org/em-voting-systems/VotingSystemChange.pdf

Please see //ElectionArchive.org for more information.

----- end sample letter------

THREAT TO 2008 IMPLEMENTATION - "UNFUNDED MANDATE" AMENDMENT

An "unfunded mandate" amendment to HR811 will say something like "if the States haven't already been given the HR 811 money, then the States don't have to meet the HR 811 requirements" until 2010. There will be no further appropriations for this in FY 2008. Thus – the bill could pass with a 2008 deadline, but absent a new appropriation of funding, the 2008 deadline would not be binding.

According to the most recent EAC report, the States HAVE $1.3 Billion available -

See How Much Money Your State Has Left of HAVA Funding on pp. 8 and 9 in //www.eac.gov/docs/Congressional%20Report%20Public%20Release%20Final.pdf

Assuming the Senate supports the House's $300 million HAVA appropriation for FY 2008 -- States will be have $1.6 billion+ altogether. The States can afford to do this, and our democracy CANNOT afford for them not to.

i.e. The States are already sitting on $1.3 Billion in left over
(received but not spent) HAVA money as of the end of 2006, and $300 million in HAVA funding (in the House) has already been appropriated for FY 2008 which could, under the bill text, be used by states to paper up. So the States have $1.6 Billion altogether available for fiscal year 2008. According to the EAC summary (see page 8 on the link), Kansas (for example) has $9 million in HAVA funding left over
(and it will get more from the $300 just added in the House).

The US House must vote "Yes" on H.R. 811 but must vote "No" on the "unfunded mandate" amendment.


H.R. 811 VOTING SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS IN A NUTSHELL

By 2008 – HR811 requires random hand counts of 3% to 10% of the voter-verified paper ballots in all Federal races, depending on the margin between leading candidates. The only exception is landslide races (those in which the winner received more than 80% of the votes), in which case audits are allowed but not required. The manual audits shall be conducted prior to certifying election results and the paper ballot shall be used as the official ballot for purposes of any recount or audit.

By 2010 - HR811 requires pre-printed paper ballots to be offered to all eligible voters at the polls. The pre-printed ballot may be marked by hand and shall not be produced by a direct recording electronic voting machine. At each polling place a notice shall be displayed prominently which describes the obligation of the official to offer individuals the opportunity to cast votes using a pre-printed paper ballot.

By 2012 - HR811 requires durable, scan-able, individual paper ballots with every voting system.

By 2012 - HR811 requires non-visual and enhanced visual paper ballot verification for voters with disabilities.

By 2012 – HR811 requires mechanisms that do not require a voter to manually handle the paper ballots for voters with disabilities.

For a complete analysis, see NEDA's easy-to-read, understandable analysis of HR811's provisions: //electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Analysis-HR811-Aug2007.pdf

The revised version of HR811 deserves strong support.

The National Election Data Archive urges the US House to vote "Yes" for House Resolution 811.

H.R. 811 IS AN EXCELLENT BILL BECAUSE IT

1. Requires independent manual audits that would expose inaccurate vote counts, under-vote rates, and ballot programming errors beginning in November 2008; and

2. Authorizes funds and provides jurisdictions motivation and opportunity to purchase less expensive, more auditable and trustworthy voting systems that preserve ballot secrecy and are less vulnerable to electronic failures, errors, and hacking; and

3. Provides incentive and opportunity for states to use election audits that would provide an even higher level of confidence to detect any outcome-altering vote miscount than that mandated in the bill.

The revised version of HR811 deserves strong support.

HR811 would ensure that voters, rather than dirty staffers of voting machine vendors or election offices, select who will control the US Congress and Executive branch in 2009 and beyond.

H.R. 811 was recently revised due to pressure from Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader, to meet the demands of disability advocacy groups, and a copy of its July 27 draft showing the changes from its May 16 version is posted at //election-reform.org/Bills2007/HR811_july.html

HR811 must be passed by October 2007 to provide jurisdictions with paperless DRE voting machines sufficient time to replace them with auditable voting equipment in order to implement manual election audits for the November 2008 Federal election. The bill's 2008 deadlines must be preserved to protect the integrity of the 2008 Federal elections.
-----

The US House should vote "Yes" for House Resolution 811 with its 2008 requirement for election audits in tact.

For a simple, straightforward, and easy-to-read analysis of H.R. 811 see: //electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Analysis-HR811-Aug2007.pdf

PLEASE DONATE - WE NEED FUNDS URGENTLY

Please donate to the National Election Data Archive. We urgently need to raise sufficient funds to hire an additional staff person tokeep up with the growing work-load. NEDA could accomplish a lot more if there were sufficient donations to pay just one person's salary. (Our financials are available here for your review: //electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/financial/FinancialStmts2004-2006.pdf) PLEASE donate whatever amount you can by credit card, PayPal, or by mailing a check. Even $5 or $10/month would be a big help. Please donate. We need your on-going help. Thank you. See //electionarchive.org/fairelection/donate.html

Please forward this announcement widely. We need to all contact our US Representative by this Wednesday, September 5.

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph" Haile Selassie

Please act now at this crucial juncture in history - to protect our future.

Sincerely,

Kathy Dopp Executive Director, National Election Data Archive //electionarchive.org

P.O. Box 682556 Park City, UT 84068 phone 435-658-4657

-----------------------

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE PROBLEMS OF USING ELECTRONIC-BALLOT DRE VOTING SYSTEMS:

A short, nearly exhaustive list of problems caused by using touch-screen electronic-ballot DRE voting machines: //electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/NEDA-S1487-Testimony.pdf

A list of DRE problems by John Hopkins University Computer Scientist Avi Rubin who is an expert in the security of electronic voting, the director of the National Science Foundation's project ACCURATE Center, and is also an election judge in Baltimore County. //avi-rubin.blogspot.com/2007/08/why-nobody-wants-to-buy-diebold.html

"Voters Have Reason to Worry – A Response to Election Officials and Others Who Urge Voters to Trust" //utahcountvotes.org/UT/UtahCountVotes-ThadHall-Response.pdf

E-Voting Ballots Not Secret; Vendors Don't See Problem, August 20th,
2007 by Princeton Computer Science Professor Ed Felten //www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1189

Cost Comparisons between Using Optical Scan versus DRE Voting Systems: //electionmathematics.org and select "Voting Systems"

--------

Urge House to vote "YES" on Vote Integrity

Fire up the phone lines and fax machines again! H.R. 811 is coming up for a final vote in the House of Representatives next week.

We must sustain our efforts. Paid lobbyists opposing federal election reform are not resting.

Your member of Congress has been asked to let House leadership know how they intend to vote by Tuesday at 4 p.m. We MUST get our response to Members of Congress by Monday at the latest - by tomorrow, Friday, is best!

Urge your Representative to "Vote YES on HR 811 and NO on an unfunded mandate amendment to the bill". H.R. 811 is fully funded according to its Congressional Budget Office score. Further, the content of H.R.811 is exempt from the unfunded mandate statute, but that has not stopped the opponents of independent election audits from offering an unfunded mandate amendment that would gut the bill's 2008 deadlines.

As a result of lobbying by groups like the National Association of Counties, last week the House Rules committee postponed bringing H.R.
811 to the House floor for a vote.

Keep calling and faxing your member of Congress; urge them to vote "YES" for H.R. 811 and "NO" on the unfunded mandate amendment.

PLEASE Fax or hand-deliver one, or all, of our three NEW one-page fliers/info package on HR811 to your US House Member.

Designed to be able to be used as separate one-pagers, please deliver one or all of these to your US Representative as you judge best:

#1. Rebuttal of the National Association of Counties' (NACo) arguments against HR811 page one of //electionmathematics.org/VoteYesHR811.pdf

#2. A list of some ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING HR811 page 2 of //electionmathematics.org/VoteYesHR811.pdf

About the Anti-HR811 Organizations

#3. Shows why these groups may have motivation to oppose HR811 //electionmathematics.org/em-legislation/anti-HR811-groups.pdf

Please fax these to your US Representative by tomorrow, Friday, September 14, if possible - by Monday latest.

Find your Representative's contact information here: //www.house.gov

or Call Capitol Hill Switchboard: 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your US Representative's Office

It is particularly important to contact the Rules Cmte Members who were lobbied by H.R. 811 opponents to keep the bill from coming to the floor last week.

Phone & Fax numbers of the Rules Committee members:

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules H-312 The Capitol Washington, DC 20515
202-225-9091

Democrats

LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER, NY - CHAIRWOMAN (D)
2469 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Phone: (202) 225-3615 Fax: (202) 225-7822

JAMES P. McGOVERN, MA (D)
438 Cannon Building Phone: (202) 225-6101 Fax: (202) 225-5759

ALCEE L. HASTINGS, FL (D)
2353 Rayburn Office Building Tel: (202) 225-1313 Fax: (202) 225-1171

DORIS O. MATSUI, CA (D)
222 Cannon House Office Building Phone: (202) 225-7163 Fax: (202) 225-0566

DENNIS CARDOZA, CA (D)
435 Cannon Building Phone: (202) 225-6131 Fax: 225-0819

PETER WELCH, VT (D)
1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone:(202) 225-4115

KATHY CASTOR, FL (D)
317 Cannon House Office Building Phone: (202)225-3376 Fax: (202)225-5652

MICHAEL ARCURI, NY (D)
327 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Phone: 202-225-3665 Fax: 202-225-1891

BETTY SUTTON, OH (D)
1721 Longworth House Office Building Phone: (202) 225-3401 Fax: (202) 225-2266

Republicans

DAVID DREIER, CA (R) Ranking Minority Member
233 Cannon HOB Washington, DC 20515 Office (202) 225-2305 Fax (202) 225-7018

LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART, FL (R)
2244 Rayburn House Office Building
(202) 225-4211

DOC HASTINGS, WA (R)
1214 Longworth
(202) 225-5816 Fax: (202) 225-3251

PETE SESSIONS, TX (R)
1514 Longworth House Bldg.
(202) 225-2231
(202) 225-5878 fax

----

Thank you for keeping up the push to ensure the integrity of our democratic elections at this critical juncture in history!

PLEASE DONATE - WE NEED FUNDS URGENTLY

There is a huge amount of work to be done yet to finish deriving and explaining the mathematics and procedures for conducting valid election audits. NEDA did not get funded by PEW to finish its work in this area, so we need your help. Please donate to the National Election Data Archive. We urgently need to raise sufficient funds to hire an additional staff person to keep up with the growing work-load. NEDA could accomplish a lot more if there were sufficient donations to pay just one person's salary. (Our financials are available here for your review: //electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/financial/FinancialStmts2004-2006.pdf) Please donate whatever amount you can by credit card, PayPal, or by mailing a check. Even $5 or $10/month would be a big help. Please donate. We need your on-going help. Thank you. See //electionarchive.org/fairelection/donate.html

Thank you for your efforts.

Sincerely,

Kathy Dopp Executive Director, National Election Data Archive //electionarchive.org

P.O. Box 682556 Park City, UT 84068 phone 435-658-4657

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1816

-----------------------

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A short, nearly exhaustive list of problems caused by using touch-screen electronic-ballot DRE voting machines: //electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/NEDA-S1487-Testimony.pdf

A list of DRE problems by John Hopkins University Computer Scientist Avi Rubin who is an expert in the security of electronic voting, the director of the National Science Foundation's project ACCURATE Center, and is also an election judge in Baltimore County. //avi-rubin.blogspot.com/2007/08/why-nobody-wants-to-buy-diebold.html

"Voters Have Reason to Worry – A Response to Election Officials and Others Who Urge Voters to Trust" //utahcountvotes.org/UT/UtahCountVotes-ThadHall-Response.pdf

E-Voting Ballots Not Secret; Vendors Don't See Problem, August 20th,
2007 by Princeton Computer Science Professor Ed Felten //www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1189

Cost Comparisons between Using Optical Scan versus DRE Voting Systems: //electionmathematics.org and select "Voting Systems"

Amendment Suggestions for the Ballot Integrity Act //electionmathematics.org/em-legislation/S1487Amendments.pdf



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