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Halt H.R. 811: Too Dangerous for Democracy
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Warn Congress: H.R. 811 is The Patriot Act of Elections
To the Honorable

I write in opposition to the Holt Bill, H.R. 811, which promises "increased voter confidence" but actually perpetuates secret vote-counting by computers while handing centralized control of federal elections to four White House appointees.

Because it requires a computerized text conversion device in every polling place, H.R. 811 would actually require electronic voting machines, effectively ruling out noncomputerized voting methods such as handcounted paper ballots.

For the same reason H.R. 811 would also rule out noncomputerized voter assistive devices that provide better accessiblity features at far less cost, while avoiding the unacceptable risks of secret, computerized vote-counting.

This unnecessary, unproven, as-yet nonexistent text converter device that H.R. 811 requires is a gift to the E-voting industry and an under-funded federal mandate that will impose huge cost burdens on the states.

H.R. 811 provides no means to enforce election laws that are being routinely violated. This hardly inspires "increased voter confidence" in elections.

Election auditing procedures in H.R. 811--which apply to post-election results rather than to the first count--are poorly conceived and inadequate to reliably detect electronic fraud or mistabulation. This inspires alarm, not confidence.

The EAC, created as a temporary advisory commission to implement HAVA, is in fact a federal executive commission that can at any time be converted into a federal regulatory agency by the insertion of a single line of text in any act of Congress.

Regulatory powers would enable the EAC to effectively bypass Congress and create law that preempts Constitutional state sovereignty in election administration. This would allow four White House appointees to determine:

* Which voting systems are approved for use in our elections
* Who counts the votes, and how votes are counted
* How recounts are conducted and outcomes decided

This is a clear and present danger to American democracy. Do not allow it! Reject H.R. 811!

True election reform that ensures, rather than threatens democratic foundations, requires

* Public ownership of any voting system
* Citizen oversight of all electoral processes
* State sovereignty in conducting elections

H.R. 811 is opposed by the National Association of Counties, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of Secretaries of State because elections administrators in the 50 states understand the disastrous destabilizing effects H.R. 811 will have on U.S. elections. That's why they say NO to H.R. 811 -- and why you should too.

Sincerely,

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