Yesterday USACM sent a letter to Representative Rush Holt commenting on his newest piece of electronic voting legislation, HR 5036. The bill, the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008, provides money to jurisdictions that rely on DRE voting machines to purchase paper trail systems in time for the general election. At the same time, USACM indicated a need for further electronic voting reform, such as the reforms discussed in Rep. Holt’s other e-voting legislation, HR 811, currently stalled in the House.
From the letter:
“The Emergency Assistance for Security Elections Act is entirely consistent with
our previous policy statements that voting systems should enable each voter to inspect a
physical (e.g., paper) record to verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast and to
serve as an independent check on the result produced and stored by the system. With too
many jurisdictions using paperless voting systems, H.R. 5036 is an effective way to
increase the transparency, accuracy, and reliability of our elections. This measure will
help ensure confidence in our election process.
Should Congress enact this legislation, we believe there is still need for broader
reforms of the voting system, including greater transparency over software used in voting
systems and reforming the testing and certification procedures for e-voting systems.
These reforms are contained in your legislation (H.R. 811) and comparable Senate
legislation, and we hope that Congress will continue its work on these efforts. In light of
the Emergency Assistance for Security Elections Act and with jurisdictions focusing on
the 2008 elections, it is reasonable to alter the timelines in H.R. 811 and Senate
legislation to reflect the longer-term nature of reforms. We look forward to Congress
revisiting electronic voting both before and after the 2008 elections.”