Friday, April 07, 2006

House bill to make electronic voting auditable

The National Election Data Archive ( is asking people to contact their representatives in support of house bill HR 550, "The voter confidence and increased accessibility act of 2005." Representative Holt issued a press release summarizing the bill's effects:
The measure would require all voting machines to produce an actual paper record that voters can view to check the accuracy of their votes and that election officials can use to verify votes in the event of a computer malfunction, hacking, or other irregularity. Experts often refer to this paper record as a "voter-verified paper trail."

"Anything of value should be auditable," said Holt. "Votes are valuable, and each voter should have the knowledge-and the confidence-—that his or her vote was recorded and counted as intended. Passage of this bill will be a big step in restoring that confidence, which is the very foundation of our democratic republic."
The bill would (among other things) require that all states use machines producing a voter-verified paper trail in the next 2006 federal election, provide funding to help states meet this mandate, prohibit "political and financial conflicts of interest among manufactures, test laboratories, and political parties," and require additional security measures be implemented on voting machines (e.g., banning them from being connected to the internet).

You can read more about the bill on its Thomas page.

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