4.14.2008

a shot at a verified vote in the u.s. election

In the US, activists for democracy have reached a potential milestone. Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on HR 5036, "The Emergency Election Assistance for Secure Elections Act".

We already know electronic voting cannot be trusted. Currently, only 17 states have a voter-verified paper trail with a mandatory audit. Without a paper record, the vote cannot be audited.

HR 5036 would provide funds for voter-verified paper records and audits of the vote on Election Day. However, the bill does not require states to have paper trails or audits. Participation is optional, so voters would still have to fight for paper audits on the state level. Big bad feds not allowed to require poor little ole states to do anything.

Howard Stanislevic, who writes a blog about the dangers of electronic voting, sees some welcome language in this bill.

US voters should contact their Congresspeople and urge them to support HR 5036.

This bill represents a long campaign by a lot of dedicated activists. It will be interesting to see if it goes anywhere.

4 comments:

James said...

What is it with the US and "voluntary" regulations? If "voluntary" worked, there wouldn't be a problem in the first place! Do they think it'll go something like:

Govt: "Excuse me, but we think it'd be nice if you guaranteed that your elections are fair."

State: "Wow! We never really thought of that! Now that you mention it, we'll be sure to do that."

Govt: "Excuse me, but we think it'd be nice if you made sure your beef was safe."

Beef industry: "Wow! We never thought of that! Now that you mention it..."

L-girl said...

What is it with the US and "voluntary" regulations?

What, indeed.

It gives the appearance of doing something without disturbing any vested interests.

Industry can go about its merry way, free of regulation, while elected officials pacify demands to "do something!", but don't jeopardize their funding.

We've got to assume the electronic voting lobby is pretty strong.

And in this case, there's the whole stupid states-rights thing.

If "voluntary" worked, there wouldn't be a problem in the first place!

As we like to say on Joy of Sox, Essackly.

James said...

We've got to assume the electronic voting lobby is pretty strong.

I gather that it's not so much strong as well-connected -- i.e. more reliant on plain old corruption than political strength.

L-girl said...

That's what strong means in this sense. Strong because it controls politicians.