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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Heads up for US Congressman Holt and Senator Nelson, and others

Please contact your US Senators and US Representative (especially Representative Rush Holt's office and Senator Bill Nelson's office) and ask them to read this paper which explains the problems of trying to verify the software integrity of voting machines:

Your Senators and Representative's contact information is available here:

I have provided a sample email or letter to US Congressional staff below that you can modify and send. Please forward this email to your email lists.

Dear Congressional Staffer Who Works on Election Integrity:

Please be so kind as to read this paper which was written with the help of dozens of skilled technologists, because it explains for the lay person, the complexities of voting system software disclosure and shows why the current software disclosure proposals by Representative Holt and Senator Nelson (HR811 and S559) would not work and must be rewritten.

"Avoid Another HAVA Train Wreck: Software Disclosure Requirements are a Good Long Term Goal But Need to Be Redrafted in Current Federal Election Integrity Legislation"

Current voting system software disclosure provisions in federally proposed legislation need to be rewritten, perhaps in separate legislation, in consultation with experts with diverse technical backgrounds.

It might be wiser to pass simpler legislation requiring sufficient manual audits and public access to election records that are necessary to verify election outcomes that could be implemented by 2008, and put any requirements for long-term improvement of voting equipment that require time for development cycles into a separate bill.

It is very important for Congressional staffers who are tasked with considering election integrity legislation in each Congressional office to know that we need a clean election bill that would ensure accurate election outcomes by 2008, plus realistic measures to achieve better voting systems long-term - not another HAVA mess.

Congressional staffers are also urged to read this evaluation of the Holt/Nelson election audits, which shows how the Holt/Nelson election audit could be revised to assure that election audits protect all US House districts, even in close races.

"Fool Me Once: Checking Vote Count Integrity"

and a list of some of the loopholes and flaws of HR811/S559 that would need to be fixed:


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