Wednesday, November 30, 2005

HR 550

"Anything of value should be auditable. Votes are valuable, and each voter should have the knowledge-and the confidence-that his or her vote was recorded and counted as intended. Passage of this bill (H.R. 550) will be a big step in restoring that confidence, which is the very foundation of our democratic republic." -Bill sponsor Rep. Rush Holt

House Resolution 550 that is, called the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act.

As I'm sure you know, many current electronic voting machines leave no paper trail and no means of recounting the votes, resulting in situations like we see here. At the same time, these voting machines have been reputed to be easily hacked and there is no accountability- whatever the machine says, goes. H.R. 550 would address those problems in a way that would make the security issues with these voting machines less relevant because you could have actual recounts- there would be a paper trail! There also would be random, unannounced audits on machines in 2% of the precints in each state.

Right now, this important bill is sitting in committee. Here is a list of House Administration Committee Members (their names are linked to their web contact page, so you can click the name and write an email, but you can only write to the Representative you live in his or her will need your nine-digit zip code, which you can find out here):
Representative Robert A. 'Bob' Brady (Democrat - Pennsylvania, 1st District)
Representative John T. Doolittle (Republican - California, 4th District)
Representative Vernon J. Ehlers (Republican - Michigan, 3rd District)
Representative Zoe Lofgren (Democrat - California, 16th District)
Representative John L. Mica (Republican - Florida, 7th District)
Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald (Democrat - California, 37th District) Ranking Member
Representative Candice S. Miller (Republican - Michigan, 10th District)
Representative Robert William 'Bob' Ney (Republican - Ohio, 18th District) Chair
Representative Thomas M. Reynolds (Republican - New York, 26th District)

Address to write a letter to the committee: 1309 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515-6157. Phone or FAX the Committee: Phone: 202-225-8281 Fax: 202-225-9957

Unfortunately, my Congressman isn't on that list. However, Congressman Rush Holt has estabilshed an online petition here. As always, though, it's important to get your voice heard by the people who've been chosen as your representative- so after I've signed the petition, I'm writing my Congressman this very day, and I urge you to do the same.

Note that at the bottom of the petition page there is a list of co-sponsors of this bill. It has bi-partisan support. This is not a blue vs. red issue, don't make this an us vs. them. This is about accountability, and access, for everyone. This is the right thing to do and we should support it.

(hat tip to DBK at Blanton's and Ashton's for much info in this post.)
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