S. 1487 Takes Elections Out of the People's Hands -- Ellen Theisen

Senator Feinstein’s Election Reform Bill S. 1487 Takes Elections Out of the Hands of the People

Analysis by Ellen Theisen
Originally posted at http:www.votersunite.org/info/s1487Report.asp

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s bill S. 1487, “The Ballot Integrity Act of 2007”1 was introduced on May 24, 2007. Some were expecting it to be a companion to, and improvement on, Representative Holt’s bill, H.R. 811. Far from an improvement, S. 1487 introduces surprising — and disturbing — new provisions.

The bill systematically dismantles government by the people, and it provides a legal excuse for expanding the disenfranchisement of “distinct communities”such as racial minorities.

What follows is a discussion of these disturbing provisions.

S.14871 Systematically Dismantles Government by the People

The bill takes elections away from citizens, candidates, political parties, and States, and it places them under the control of the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and corporations.
Elections are the way “we, the people” exercise our rightful control over our government, which was established to be subject to the consent of the governed.
However, provisions throughout this bill orchestrate what would be a perilous situation in which the election system, start to finish, is under the control of the EAC, in collaboration with voting system manufacturers, with a nod to the State and local governments.

In 2002, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) established the EAC as a temporary agency whose purpose was to assist the States in complying with new requirements spelled out in that legislation. Before HAVA, local governments made decisions about the administration of elections, thus allowing the people the greatest opportunity for control. HAVA took much of that decision making out of the hands of local government and placed it in the hands of State governments, where citizen control is remote and diluted, but still present.

S. 1487 places control of elections in the hands of four Presidential appointees, who have no direct accountability to the citizens and virtually no oversight. Under this bill, the EAC, in collaboration with corporations, would decide which voting systems would be allowed to record and count votes. The EAC would establish guidelines for how many such systems should be available at each poll site and for where early voting poll sites should be located. Corporations approved by the EAC would own and operate the proprietary (secret) software that records and counts our votes. The EAC, in collaboration with those corporations, would determine how to enforce that proprietary ownership. The EAC would determine who is accredited to observe at poll sites.

The EAC would also establish “model” procedures for the States to “consider” when conducting federally mandated audits. And, the EAC would review results of each audit and determine when election results could be certified.

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1. S. 1487 bill text available at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1487

Senator Feinstein’s Election Reform Bill Takes Elections Out of the Hands of the People Page 1
by Ellen Theisen, Last updated June 15, 2007. http:www.votersunite.org/info/s1487Report.asp

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