Re: VotersUnite Proposals for new Holt Legislation

From: <dr-jekyll_at_att_dot_net>
Date: Mon Nov 27 2006 - 21:09:05 CST

There's a big difference between "Congress may" in Article I, Section 4 and "Congress shall have the power to" in Article I, Section 8. If it were the intent for Congress to have the power to run elections nation-wide on a permanent basis, it would have been listed among those grants of power listed in Section 8. The intent of when "Congress may" alter or write in Section 4 is explained in Federalist Paper #59 by Alexander Hamilton. Check the third paragraph:

"they have reserved to the national authority a right to interpose, whenever extraordinary circumstances might render that interposition necessary to its safety. "

If the "Congress may" clause had been a permanent grant of power to Congress not requiring extraordinary circumstances, Amendments 14 (in part), 19, 24, and 26 would not have been necessary.

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-------------- Original message from "Kathy Dopp" <>: -------------- 
On 11/24/06,
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2006 14:03:13 -0800
From: Danny Swarzman <>
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] VotersUnite Proposals for new Holt Legislation
Article 1 Section 4
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and 
Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature
thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such
Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.
Doesn't this mean that the Congress has the power to mandate anything 
it wants?
Darnit - I stand corrected again.  Thank you Dan.
Even so, the chance of Congress specifying particular voting technology or prohibiting a particular technology are slim to none.  HAVA only provided funding only for opscan and DREs.  Providing no funds to "upgrade" DRE with paper roll VVPATs, except perhaps one per polling location for disabled voters, because DREs with VVPT rolls are not fully auditable, might be possible.  
VotersUnite proposals seem to imply that prohibiting certain people from working on equipment during elections would prevent vote tampering.  We know that isn't going to work because it isn't wise to trust everyone who works for election offices any more than it is to trust everyone who works for voting machine vendors and even if 100% of local technicians were honest, that still doesn't prevent vote tampering from other sources as you all know.  
On Nov 23, 2006, at 7:19 AM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
> #3 while I agree 100% that electronic ballot voting systems should 
> be instantly dumped, it is a violation of the US constitution to
> mandate particular voting systems which is why the 2002 HAVA law
> did not mandate any particular voting equipment, but rather only
> provided funding for certain types of voting equipment, including
> unfortunately DREs.  If you want to eliminate DREs, you must only
> fund paper ballot systems, not outlaw DREs.

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