Re: [OVC-discuss] [ElectionIntegrity] Re: Taskforce on Federal Legislation

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Nov 17 2006 - 15:46:14 CST

On 11/17/06, Marc Baber <> wrote:
> I tend to agree with Paul-- paper ballots are simple to explain and have
> widespread grassroots support.

Mark and Paul,

We all agree with you. Almost all of us who began election integrity work 2
or 3 or more years ago, actively fought against DRE adoption and want DREs
to be used as boat anchors or recycled in some environmentally friendly

However, our foremost goal is to ensure election outcome integrity - i.e.
make sure that the right people are sworn into office following all future

If we force states to adopt measures like sufficient manual audits to ensure
accurate election outcomes, states will quickly see how costly,
time-consuming and untrustworthy DREs are.

The US Congress cannot mandate that states throw away their shiny new toys
and the HAVA bill did not outlaw any type of voting system because that
would be unconstitutional.

For the purpose of ensuring election outcome accuracy, HR550, as written in
the last Congress, is insufficient, counterproductive and urgently needs to
be fixed.

eg. some HR550 audit flaws included:

1. insufficient 2% federal audits would not detect vote miscount that could
cause wrong election outcomes in a large amount, if not a majority, of races

2. audits controlled by the US EAC which is probably unconstitutional, but
also puts audits in the hands of the currently hopelessly incompetent
unqualified group

3. federal audits could interfere with state and county-level audits that
were sufficient, like the audit that NM may be putting into place soon.
audits need to be designed at the state level at a minimum, and preferably
at the county level.

4. nothing was written into HR550 that would make the federal audit
transparent or verifiable to the public, so it could easily result in a
procedure that could be easily manipulated

I am half-way between Paul's purists and strategists groups because I am
wholly against the Holt bill as it was written (better to have no
legislation at all). Yet by rewriting Holt's audit provision to make it
verifiable, adequate, and transparent, would soon result in hand-countable
voter verified paper ballot optical scan voting systems IMO.

As far as adding printers to DREs like those in MD and GA, my understanding
is (correct me if I'm wrong) that the vendors have already said it would not
be possible or would be outrageously expensive, and so passage of federal
legislation requiring VVPATs in federal elections would, in MD and GA and
perhaps parts of PA, etc. cause paperless DREs to be scrapped and optical
scan systems to be adopted because, as you point out, they are much less

An effective way to force out DREs (besides requiring sufficient verifiable
transparent manual audits) would be to only provide funds for optical scan
paper ballot systems for meeting the new requirement for VVPATs with every

Another way to force out DREs would be to require a technically competent US
EAC TGDC with backbone, because then the federal voluntary standards for
security could be improved and the EAC and NASED stopped from approving
systems that do not meet even the current lax standards, all current DRE
systems are already technologically obsolete because they use no modern
security technology (deliberately?).

There are probably more indirect common-sense measures that you can think of
which would result in states' scrapping DREs.

We all agree.



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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:08 2006

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