We urge the House of Representatives to ban DREs NOW!

(after contacting Congress, please scroll down to contact MoveOn)


HR811 will be voted in the House this week. This bill uses the term “paper ballot” to refer to a voter-verified paper trail. This is intended to confuse you and gain your support.


HR811 does not ban DREs -- BUT it should!

HR811 does not require a “voter-marked paper ballot” -- BUT it should!


Paper trails are no substitute for ballots that voters can mark directly!

Paper trails are not counted on election night!


If 10% of paper trails are “re-counted” weeks after the election, 90% of tallies will be based solely on “trust” that the computers worked right and all invisible counting was honest!


Tell Congress: No more “trust” -- Ban DREs NOW!


Sample letters -- just pick one and (1) cut and paste, (2) fill in your name and address, (3) fill in your Representative’s name and fax number (see below), (4) print, sign, and fax!


Sample Letters (your choice of four! Number 4 is getting good response!):





Flyer to fax with your letter:



Contact Info:


Who is my Representative? www.vote-smart.org/  (look in left column)


Out of NYC -- Lookup their fax number: www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml


NYC Residents—Your Representative’s phone, fax, and email address:

Gary Ackerman, Phone 202-225-2601, Fax 202-225-1589, gary_ackerman@mail.house.gov

Gregory Meeks, Phone 202-225-3461, Fax 202-226-4169,  to email please cut-and-paste your message into his website email form at www.house.gov/meeks/en.us.contact.shtml

Joseph Crowley, Phone 202-225-3965, Fax  202-225-1909, write2joecrowley@mail.house.gov

Jerrold Nadler, Phone 202-225-5635, Fax 202-225-6923,  to email please cut-and-paste your message into his website email form at www.house.gov/nadler/contact.shtml

Anthony Weiner, Phone 202-225-6616, Fax 202-226-7253, Weiner@mail.house.gov

Edolphus Towns, Phone 202-225-5936, Fax 202-225-1018, towns.ed@mail.house.gov

Yvette Clarke, Phone 202-225-6231, Fax 202-226-0112,  no email

Nydia Velazquez, Phone 202-225-2361, Fax 202-226-0327, nydia.velazquez@mail.house.gov

Vito Fossella, Phone 202-225-3371, Fax 202-226-1272, to email please cut-and-paste your message into his website email form at www.house.gov/fossella/Constituent/email/

Carolyn Maloney, Phone 202-225-7944, Fax 202-225-4709, to email please cut-and-paste your message into her website email form at http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_email_form&Itemid=73

Charles Rangel, Phone 202-225-4365, Fax 202-225-0816, prefers fax

Jose Serrano, 202-225-4361, Fax 202-225-6001, jserrano@mail.house.gov

Eliot Engel, Phone 202-225-2464, Fax 202-225-5513, prefers fax


September scandal:


MoveOn has sent out an email full of lies, to gauge the support of their members for HR811.  Please click on the link for “No, we should not support the bill.”


Dear MoveOn member,


With time running out to secure our voting machines before the 2008 election, Democratic leaders have negotiated a compromise version of Rep. Rush Holt's paper ballots bill, H.R. 811.


LIE—HR811 is not a “paper ballots” bill, it merely uses the term “paper ballot” as the new name for “ paper trail.” What’s the difference? A tiny percentage of paper trails will be “re-counted” many days after the election  and the announcement of the winner.


It's not ideal, but we need to decide if we'll support it anyway. On the one hand, the compromise is imperfect. On the other, it's our only chance to make significant national progress before the 2008 election.


LIE—The real question is: Is it “progress” to continue to use electronic voting machines after all the scandals and all we know about them? Or is it business and profits as usual?


*Read more about the compromise below, then let us know if you think MoveOn should support the current version of the Holt bill:


LIE—Who compromised? The lobbyists who determined the current content of this bill were primarily Microsoft and the voting machine vendors. Grassroots citizens were shut out of the process of revision this year after we worked in 2003-2006 to gather sponsors for the bill’s previous versions.


Yes, we should support the bill.



No, we should not support the bill.



Not sure if we should support the bill.



The Holt paper ballots bill has met with strong concern from many disability rights groups because electronic voting machines offered many people with disabilities their first opportunity ever to vote independently. Some technology does exist to make paper ballots accessible, but not all disability groups feel it's adequate.


LIE—Grassroots disability rights activists who are not funded who have tried the accessible paper ballot marking devices typically prefer them. The California Top-to-Bottom Review found that no DREs in their state were accessible. Please follow the money when you look at who is supporting DREs, regardless whether their arguments concern accessibility or any other reason.


The compromise Holt bill requires all electronic voting machines to include paper trails by 2008, but it allows the use of cash register-style printers that are not great for reliable voter-verification. Some counties will also be allowed to buy new electronic voting machines.


TRUTH—Paper trails are not as reliable as voter-marked paper ballots to record the voters true intent, and are worthless to determine election outcomes, since it is very rare for election outcomes to be changed regardless of what happens after election night.


By 2012, the bill would ban these more error-prone paper trails and require durable paper ballots instead. The bill would not ban electronic voting machines altogether, but it would make the durable paper ballots the vote of record and would require manual audits to ensure accurate counts.


LIE—The “durable paper ballots” referred to here are paper trails printed on better paper. They still won’t be counted for 90-97% of election tallies. The bill would not ban electronic voting machines at all. The “vote of record” is only for 3-10% RECOUNTS.


The compromise bill is supported by Common Cause, the Brennan Center for Justice, and People for the American Way---some of the leading groups we've worked with for years to secure voting machines. There are other groups who have long opposed the Holt bill because it doesn't ban electronic voting machines.


LIE—Common Cause, the Brennan Center for Justice, and PFAW worked AGAINST paper trails and then paper ballots for years on the basis that paper could not be made accessible to the disabled. These organizations have apparently never questioned why vendors refused to make paper accessible. Meanwhile thousands of grassroots activists pointed out to these organizations that a voting machine with invisible electronic ballots and no way to be audited was an obvious scam. Teresa Hommel of WheresThePaper.org taught computer programming to blind students 1979-1982, and these students handled paper as well as any other students. In the early 1990s Ms. Hommel taught computer programming to professional programmers and engineers, including some who were blind, deaf, or wheelchair-users. These professionals were competitive in their work and had no difficulty in handling paper.


MoveOn is a member-directed organization, so we have to make this tough

call together. *Should MoveOn support the latest version of the Holt bill?*



August scandal:


On Aug. 14, 2007, "Dan Rather Reports" revealed new evidence:


·        Sequoia used paper known to be defective to print punchcard ballots for Palm Beach county in November, 2000, and instructed their employees to prepare the ballots in a defective manner. This caused "hanging chads" and prevented thousands of votes from being counted, and was used to persuade Congress to replace paper-based ballots with invisible electronic ballots, courtesy of the Help America Vote Act in passed in 2002.


·        ES&S delivered thousands of touchscreen voting machines (“DREs”)  knowing that 30-40% had defective touchscreens. Their machines were used in the Christine Jennings race in Florida, November, 2006, where 18,000 votes were lost.


Archived program: www.hd.net/drr227.html

All links: www.wheresthepaper.org/news.html#DanRather

Action:  DanRatherActions.htm     


Dan Rather challenged our government to take action: "unlike Congress or prosecutors, we aren't armed with subpoena power. We can't force companies to prove that they take concerns about their machines and their ballots seriously. [Their] message is ‘Trust us’."


WheresThePaper urges all Americans to watch the program, and demand that Congress act by investigating the new evidence! Demand that Congress ban electronic voting machines (touchscreens, aka "DREs" or "Direct Recording Electronic" voting machines), because invisible, secret procedures can never be trusted!


"Voter confidence" has to be based on observed handling of votes and vote-counting. Voter-marked paper ballots enable voters to directly observe their own votes, and enable ballot-handling and counting to be observed as well as filmed with feeds to the internet.


Paper-based election technology is understandable to all, easily observed by citizens, and easily manageable to our local election administrators.


Invisible electronic ballots are an invitation to fraud! The computer screen and paper trail are placebos because neither is counted to determine election tallies. Most voters can't verify the paper trail http://chil.rice.edu/research/pdf/EverettDissertation.pdf, and vendors have delivered such shoddy printers that many paper trails are unreadable.


Most American election administrators are neither interested in, nor capable of, managing computer security. The recent scandals in California show that private vendors are not the proper guardians of democracy -- they have delivered defective, illegal equipment, and local election administrators were none the wiser. Still local election directors across America say they don't need more security procedures because they "trust" computers!


Stay informed:


Subscribe to “Daily Voting News” by sending an email to jgideon AT votersunite.org


# # #