USACM Submits Letter Commenting on New Holt Legislation

By David Bruggeman
February 7, 2008

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.”

The full text of the letter is available online.