Re: HR 811 text?

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Feb 06 2007 - 21:02:42 CST

Arthur,
>
> Rather than saying we want to kill the bill, I'd rather identify
> specifically what improvements can be made to the legislation in
> order to garner our support. Saying "no way" is not a negotiating
> position, but just freezes us out of process. "Maybe" is a much
> better bargaining approach.
>
I'll look at it further, and consider your advice.

My first take is that the bill is too fundamentally flawed to warrant
"improvements." The problem is basically that it's a top-down sledgehammer
approach. The more you read, the more you can envision this huge bureacracy
in Washington D.C. formed to undertake all the tasks outlined in the bill.

When I first read that under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the
oversight of the testing and certification process was to be transferred
from NASED to the EAC, I called the guy at the EAC (Brian Hancock) listed as
the contact person and asked him how he was going to clean up the testing
process. He had no clue, no funding, and no staff.

Now, four years later, the transfer is still not done. Oh, they took the
guy, Tom Wilkey, that was in charge of the old process at NASED and put him
in charge at the EAC. Latest word is that most of this process transfer is
supposed to happen this year. It's still basically the same system. One
vendor pays another vendor to say the equipment is okay.

HR 811 would entail far more drastic transformation of the voting system.
And we're supposed to believe this will be done by 2008? How many people
will the EAC (with its politically appointed commissioners) need to hire to
administer the election system? I see big government giving itself more
power while grossly underestimating the costs of taking over.

We don't want the federal government running federal elections. Do we need
to explain why?

If you like having a really big brother (albeit incompetent), HR 811 is for
you.

Under the rubrick of saying something good about it, this paragraph seems
fine:

           "(10) PROHIBITION OF USE OF WIRELESS
            COMMUNICATIONS DEVICES IN VOTING SYSTEMS."

I can't say anything bad about this paragraph. I wonder if you taped over
the infrared port on the Diebold TS machine it would be okay according to
this. I guess not.

I'll get to more specifics when I have time.

Alan D.

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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:08 2007

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