Tell MoveOn NO!
MoveOn has sent out an email full of lies, to gauge the support of their members for HR811. Please click on the link for “No, we should not support the bill.”
Dear MoveOn member,
With time running out to secure our voting machines before the 2008 election, Democratic leaders have negotiated a compromise version of Rep. Rush Holt's paper ballots bill, H.R. 811.
LIE—HR811 is not a “paper ballots” bill, it merely uses the term “paper ballot” as the new name for “ paper trail.” What’s the difference? A tiny percentage of paper trails will be “re-counted” many days after the election and the announcement of the winner.
It's not ideal, but we need to decide if we'll support it anyway. On the one hand, the compromise is imperfect. On the other, it's our only chance to make significant national progress before the 2008 election.
LIE—The real question is: Is it “progress” to continue to use electronic voting machines after all the scandals and all we know about them? Or is it business and profits as usual?
*Read more about the compromise below, then let us know if you think MoveOn should support the current version of the Holt bill:
LIE—Who compromised? The lobbyists who determined the current content of this bill were primarily Microsoft and the voting machine vendors. Grassroots citizens were shut out of the process of revision this year after we worked in 2003-2006 to gather sponsors for the bill’s previous versions.
Yes, we should support the bill.
No, we should not support the bill.
Not sure if we should support the bill.
The Holt paper ballots bill has met with strong concern from many disability rights groups because electronic voting machines offered many people with disabilities their first opportunity ever to vote independently. Some technology does exist to make paper ballots accessible, but not all disability groups feel it's adequate.
LIE—Grassroots disability rights activists who are not funded who have tried the accessible paper ballot marking devices typically prefer them. The California Top-to-Bottom Review found that no DREs in their state were accessible. Please follow the money when you look at who is supporting DREs, regardless whether their arguments concern accessibility or any other reason.
The compromise Holt bill requires all electronic voting machines to include paper trails by 2008, but it allows the use of cash register-style printers that are not great for reliable voter-verification. Some counties will also be allowed to buy new electronic voting machines.
TRUTH—Paper trails are not as reliable as voter-marked paper ballots to record the voters true intent, and are worthless to determine election outcomes, since it is very rare for election outcomes to be changed regardless of what happens after election night.
By 2012, the bill would ban these more error-prone paper trails and require durable paper ballots instead. The bill would not ban electronic voting machines altogether, but it would make the durable paper ballots the vote of record and would require manual audits to ensure accurate counts.
LIE—The “durable paper ballots” referred to here are paper trails printed on better paper. They still won’t be counted for 90-97% of election tallies. The bill would not ban electronic voting machines at all. The “vote of record” is only for 3-10% RECOUNTS.
The compromise bill is supported by Common Cause, the Brennan Center for Justice, and People for the American Way---some of the leading groups we've worked with for years to secure voting machines. There are other groups who have long opposed the Holt bill because it doesn't ban electronic voting machines.
LIE—Common Cause, the Brennan Center for Justice, and PFAW worked AGAINST paper trails and then paper ballots for years on the basis that paper could not be made accessible to the disabled. These organizations have apparently never questioned why vendors refused to make paper accessible. Meanwhile thousands of grassroots activists pointed out to these organizations that a voting machine with invisible electronic ballots and no way to be audited was an obvious scam. Teresa Hommel of WheresThePaper.org taught computer programming to blind students 1979-1982, and these students handled paper as well as any other students. In the early 1990s Ms. Hommel taught computer programming to professional programmers and engineers, including some who were blind, deaf, or wheelchair-users. These professionals were competitive in their work and had no difficulty in handling paper.
MoveOn is a member-directed organization, so we have to make this tough
call together. *Should MoveOn support the latest version of the Holt bill?*
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