Skip to main content

View Diary: Holt's Paper Trail and Audit Bill Held Up in Committee (19 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Watered down from last year, needs to be fixed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thom K in LA, bumblebums

    The biggest single problem is a change from last year's bill.  In H.R.811, unlike in last year's H.R.550, a loophole was added.  The mandatory hand-counts of the paper ballots are not required when state law requires an audit -- which is almost always in really close races.

    This means that if the state law only requires that the machines be asked to spit out the same numbers again -- as it does in California -- then close races have no paper guarantee and can be stolen at will.

    This is a fatal defect.  It could be fixed easily with an amendment.  That's what committee time is for, so call your Congressman and ask him to fix it.

    The second biggest problem is that it allows the paper trail printouts from DREs as 'paper ballots'.  These are fundamentally defective for several reasons, most notably because if the DRE prints it wrong, even if you verify that the DRE printed it wrong, there is jack shit you can do about it because it's trapped behind glass.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

    by neroden on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:31:15 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  you are partly wrong about the close races (0+ / 0-)

      As far as I know, "Invisible Ida's" round-up of recount laws is still pretty close to accurate. As of 2004, about 15 states required some sort of recount based on closeness of race. California wasn't among them. Maybe it is now?

      That said, I agree with your reading that HR 811 doesn't require manual audits or recounts in those 15 states. That would be Really Unfortunate in states where the recount is mandated to be by machine. This definitely ought to be fixed. (There is language that may have been intended to close this loophole, but doesn't.)

      You're also partly wrong, as far as I know, about the DRE ballots. HR 811 mandates: "The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error made by the system in the voter-verified paper ballot before the permanent voter-verified paper ballot is preserved in accordance with subparagraph (B)(i)." A system in which you have to cast your vote before you can review the paper ballot would not be compliant. However, there are grave questions about whether voters can be induced to verify DRE "ballots" and to act if the ballots are actually incorrect.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site