---Put your Name and Address here---
September 4, 2007
Honorable ----put Representative’s Name here---
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
By Fax: ---put fax number here, look it up here ---
HR811 allows invisible electronic votes to continue to be used in American elections. It is worded to deceive you and the American public, by calling a paper trail a “paper ballot.”
Congress must ban electronic voting machines, with or without a paper trail. These machines, called “touchscreens” or “DREs” force Americans to “trust” invisible election processes. But invisible ballots and secret procedures can never be trusted.
"Voter confidence" needs to be based on observed handling of votes and vote-counting. Voter-marked paper ballots enable voters to directly observe their own votes. They also enable ballot-handling and counting to be easily observed as well as filmed with feeds to the internet.
Meanwhile, the DRE’s computer screen and paper trail are placebos because neither is counted to determine election-night tallies.
Most of our local election administrators are neither interested in, nor capable of, managing computer security. And the recent scandals in California show that private vendors are not the proper guardians of democracy -- they delivered defective, illegal equipment, and local election administrators were none the wiser.
Doug Lewis of the Election Center has testified to both houses of Congress that election administrators don't wish to audit their computer equipment. www.wheresthepaper.org/DougLewisTestimonyJuly25_2007.pdf
Congress must require the use of voter-marked paper ballots! Paper ballots are understandable to all, easily observed by citizens, and easily manageable to our local election administrators.
The Holt election reform bill, H.R. 811, is scheduled for a vote on September 5. I urge you to work for – and vote for -- amending HR811 to ban use of DRE electronic voting machines immediately as of the passage of this bill.