Is Holt Reformable? (Nancy Tobi)

With HR. 550 being the legislation with the most steam and some high profile supporters to boot, is there any will to work towards amending it in committee? At the state level, I've certainly seen entire bills completely revised so that by the time they have passed they look nothing like the bill they started out as.

The only bill that should be considered at the national level should address the two burning issues facing our election administration:

1) HAVA deadlines and DOJ enforcers, which are creating undue pressure upon our national election officials to make bad decisions

2) Paper ballots should be the baseline for any election system, and the official count of record.

Get those two things dealt with and out of the way, and we can start working on the rest of the mess the Feds have created.


Holt revised could look something like this:

1) The Help America Vote Act is amended to suspend all January 2006 deadlines pending full investigation and resolution thereof of monies distributed by the EAC and spent by the States for electronic and computerized voting equipment, including an investigation of the suitability of that equipment for our national elections and the suitability of the corresponding agreements made between vendors of that equipment and their purchasers, when such agreements should appropriately reflect minimum national security protocols.

2) The Department of Justice will cease all activities relating to enforcement of the Help America Vote Act unless such activities are related to #1 above.

3) No voting machine or device shall be used in any election unless it reads the voter's choice on a paper ballot, which has been marked with the human hand, or for persons with disabilities, with an assistive marking device, in a manner that is verifiable to the voter.

4) A paper ballot is defined as the original printed ballot that displays all the voter options and which, with exceptions made as defined above for persons with disabilities, is marked by the human hand to reflect the voter's choices.

5) In recounts, when counting the ballots, the [insert title of state or local official responsible for recounts] shall visually inspect each ballot. No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots.