Holt Bill: TECHNOELECTION DREAM COME TRUE

From: Nancy Tobi <ntobi_at_democracyfornewhampshire_dot_com>
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 14:54:50 CST

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necessary

All,

You can keep arguing the merits of this audit method or that, this paper
trail or that, but the Holt Bill has two poison pills in it that can not be
argued away:

1) huge unfunded mandate for text-to-audio conversion technology
2) consolidation of Executive power and control over Federal elections.

We must fight this treasonous bill and call it for what it is:
ANTI-DEMOCRATIC.

It is bad enough that the authors of this bill, two years following the NASS
resolution to sunset the Election Assistance Commission, and after more than
a years' worth of activist pleadings to get rid of this growing little
monster, the EAC, cement it as a permanent Executive agency in his new bill.

Bad enough that the authors of this bill are comfortable handing over
control of federal elections to the White House.

This is treasonous in and of itself.

But on top of this unseemly anti democratic motion, the new Holt bill
insinuates a whole new technoelection industrial toy into every polling
place in the nation.

In the language of this bill, the new accessible voting system "''(I) allows
the voter to privately and independently verify the content of the permanent
paper ballot through the conversion of the printed content into accessible
media"

Do you want to know what this intentionally benign and vague sounding
language means, and the events that led to it being inserted into the Holt
Bill?

If you ask Holt's office why this mysterious new requirement is in their
bill, they're liable to say, "why, it's in the EAC 2005 Voluntary Voting
System Guidelines (VVSG)." So let's take a look at what this means.

First, to understand exactly what Holt's vague and, dare I say it, opague,
language is talking about, just look at Tubbs Jones Bill (HR939), originally
endorsed by PFAW and viewed as competition to Holt.

Keep in mind that there is the chance that proponents of this crap, such as
Holt, Hoyer, and PFAW, may actually believe that in order to get votes from
voters who are illiterate, non-English speaking, or whatnot, they have to
create a multimedia voting booth - complete with picture, sound, multiple
languages. In other words, at best, this is another road to boondoggle paved
with good intentions. At worst it is a cynical ploy to further enrich the
evoting industry and destroy our democracy.

Anyway, the Tubbs Jones bill spelled it out very easily, making it possible
for the average election activist to grasp exactly how much of a high tech
boondoggle this text-to-audio conversion concept is. HR 939 describes what
Holt's "accessible media" is and puts it like this:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h109-939

`(B) VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS- Any direct recording electronic voting
system or other voting system described in subparagraph (A)(iii) shall use a
mechanism that separates the function of vote generation from the function
of vote casting and shall produce, in accordance with paragraph (2)(A), an
individual paper record which--

   `(i) shall be used to meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(B);

   `(ii) shall be available for visual, audio, and pictorial inspection
   and verification by the voter, with language translation available for all
   forms of inspection and verification in accordance with the requirements of
   section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965;

   `(iii) shall not require the voter to handle the paper; and

   `(iv) shall not preclude the use of braille or tactile ballots for
   those voters who need them.

The requirement of clause (iii) shall not apply to any voting system
certified by the Independent Testing Authorities before the date of the
enactment of this Act.

`(C) REQUIREMENTS FOR LANGUAGE MINORITIES- Any record produced under
subparagraph (B) shall be subject to the requirements of section 203 of the
Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the extent such section is applicable to the
State or jurisdiction in which such record is produced.'.

---------------------------
And of course, it is no accident that this language appears in the newly
revised Holt Bill. In fact SOMEBODIES have been planning this for some time
now.

We know that PFAW lobbied hard for its insertion into the Holt Bill.
We can assume
that there is some industry maven rubbing his hands with glee at his
impending entrance into a multibillion dollar technoelection industry.

Follow the historical timeline for the new technoelection dream toy.
Somebodies stand to make a bundle off this thing, and on top of that its
implementation will succeed at further obscuring the integrity of the paper
ballot and our democratic processes.

TEXT-TO-AUDIO TECHNOELECTION TOY TIMELINE:

In the attachment you will find the resolutions from the EAC Standards Board
August 2005
meeting, in which they recommended removing all language referencing text
conversion from the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).

Remember that the Standards Board, unlike the Commission stacked with
partisan hacks, is a 50-state representational body of top state and local
election officials. You know, people who actually UNDERSTAND how elections
work.

Well, the attached resolutions came about following the Standards Board
review of all references to 2.2.7.xxx, which refer to the text conversion
guideline,which had been inserted into the draft VVSG that the Standards
Board had reviewed.

As you can see, per the Standards Board recommendation, the text-to-audio
conversion guideline was to be removed from the VVSG. The Standards Board
understood the financial cost of this guideline, and how it would compromise
the integrity of PAPER BALLOT-based election systems.

However, when the VVSG was released and approved in December 2005, the
guideline had mysteriously been reinserted. We can't say for sure how this
happened, but it is a fact that Executive Director of the EAC Tom Wilkie
would have had the final authority on the released version of the VVSG. All
signs point to Tom for the re-insertion of the text-to-audio guideline.
Meaning, 110 Standards Board members decide one thing, and one EAC Executive
Director decides another. Democracy loses.

http://www.eac.gov/VVSG%20Volume_II.pdf

So when the VVSG 2005guidelines were released, here is how the text-to-audio
guideline magically reappeared:
4.7.4 Availability Test
The accredited test lab shall assess the adequacy of system availability
based on the provisions of Volume I, Section 4. As described in this
section, availability of voting system
equipment is determined as a function of reliability, and the mean time to
repair the system in the event of failure. Availability cannot be tested
directly before the voting system is deployed in jurisdictions, but can be
modeled mathematically to predict availability for a defined system
configuration. This model shall be prepared by the vendor, and shall be
validated by the accredited testing laboratory.

The model shall reflect the equipment used for a typical system
configuration to perform the
following system functions:

For all paper-based systems:
Recording voter selections (such as by ballot marking)
Scanning the marks on paper ballots and converting them into digital data

What next?

February 2007: The requirement appears in the new Holt Bill.

That's it. The latest technoelection timeline brought to you by Holt, PFAW,
and some as yet unknown evoting industry baron.

God bless America. Land that we love. Fight on my fellow Patriots. This can
not stand.

--
Nancy Tobi, Chair
Democracy for New Hampshire
DFNH Fair Elections Committee
PO Box 717 | Concord, NH 03301
www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com
-- 
Nancy Tobi, Chair
Democracy for New Hampshire
DFNH Fair Elections Committee
PO Box 717 | Concord, NH 03301
www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com


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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:11 2007

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