The Voter Confidence and Increased Accountability Act of 2007, which boasts more than 200 bipartisan cosponsors, appeared to be sailing toward confirmation before Congress adjourned for Easter recess. However, the House Administration Committee vote was postponed unexpectedly after election officials from across the country testified before the Elections Subcommittee and scores of others contacted their representatives predicting problems that could make the 2000 and 2004 elections “look like the proverbial walk in the park.”oops!
“It was moving forward like a runaway train,” a media relations manager at the National Association of Counties (NACo), James Philipps, said. “Then suddenly it was like, wait a minute — counties have something to say.”
No one disputes the good intentions of the legislation, which would amend Article III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) by requiring a voter-verified permanent paper ballot. However, NACo and election officials harbor misgivings with its mandate requiring audits of 10 percent of all votes, which could result in significantly delayed results and a timeline that leaves little opportunity to train election officials and poll workers. Further, the scheduled implementation occurs after many state legislatures have adjourned for the year.
“The unintended consequences of this could create complete electoral chaos,” the registrar-recorder for Los Angeles County, Conny McCormack, said. “It hasn’t been examined closely enough.”
The act also requires states to purchase and implement new electronic voting equipment using undeveloped technology just two years after they did so to comply with HAVA requirements. “If passed, H.R. 811 will literally render millions of dollars worth of election equipment useless,” Keith Cunningham of the Allen County (Ohio) Board of Elections said.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Now that We have Read the Bill, It's Not Such a Dandy Idea
That is more or less what various county election officials are saying about Rep. Rush Holt's Voter Confidence and Increased Accountability Act of 2007. According to the Hill: