Over the past few years, several independent studies have revealed serious security vulnerabilities in the electronic voting machines used across the United States. Over the same period of time, a number of these machines have broken down and/or lost votes on Election Day.
The good news is that experts who have looked at these machines believe that there are some simple steps that can be taken to make them significantly more secure and reliable. Many of the most important steps recommended by these experts are incorporated in the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (H.R. 811) sponsored by Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ). Last week, this bill was voted out of the Committee on House Administration. As of May 23, 2007, a majority of House members have given their support to the Holt Bill, and it is expected to receive a floor vote shortly. Senator Dianne Feinstein plans to introduce a similar bill in the Senate.
Brennan Center Resources Related to the Holt Bill
The Brennan Center has provided significant public comment on H.R. 811.
- FAQ on H.R. 811 [PDF] (5/23/07)
- Brennan Center Letter in Support of H.R. 811 [PDF] (5/7/07)
- Testimony of Lawrence Norden [PDF] (Hearing on Election Audits, House Subcommittee on Elections, 3/20/07)
- Letter to Congressman Holt RE: Mandatory Audits [PDF] (2/1/07)
- Statement of Lawrence Norden (Joint Hearing on Voting Machines, House Administration Committee and Committee on Science, 7/19/06)
Brennan Center Resources Related to Electronic Voting Systems
The Brennan Center has spent three years studying the nation’s electronic voting systems.
- The Machinery of Democracy: Protecting Elections in an Electronic World (Executive Summary) [PDF] (6/2006)
- The Machinery of Democracy: Voting System Security, Accessibility, Usability, and Cost (10/10/06)
- Testimony of Michael Waldman [PDF] (Hearing on Electronic Voting, Senate Rules Committee, 2/7/07)
- Testimony of Lawrence Norden [PDF] (Hearing on Voting Machine Testing and Testing Laboratory Certification, Subcommittee on Information Policy, (5/7/07)
Other Resources Related to H.R. 811
- Restore Integrity to Federal Elections (Lawrence Norden, The Nation.com, 9/19/07)
- A Chance to Make Votes Count (Editorial, New York Times, 9/6/07)
- The Urgency of E-Voting Reform (Lawrence Norden & Timothy B. Lee, The Hill, 8/2/07)
- Time Running Out for Voting Reform (Editorial, New York Times, 7/31/07)
- HR-811 Opponents: If You Can’t Stand the Sausage-making… (Mark My Words blog, 7/14/07)
- An Analysis of Mark Crispin Miller’s article “Expos”: Holt Bill Was Revised By Microsoft, Diebold and ES&S" (Barbara Simons, OpEdNews.com, 7/13/07)
- Holt’s Rush to Fairer Elections (Roll Call, 6/26/07)
- The Campaign for Secure Elections (Lawrence Norden, Huffington Post, 6/13/07)
- Time Has Come for Congress to Help Fix Voting System (Mark Richie, Roll Call, 6/11/07)
- Reform would assure voters (Freddie Oakley, thereporter.com, 6/10/07)
- Passing judgment on HR 811: A classic case of “the blind men and the elephant” (David Griscom, OpEdNews.com, 5/24/07)
- Your vote at risk: why you must care about HR 811 (Lisa Pease, OpEdNews.com, 5/24/07)
- E-Voting Threatens Election Integrity: Rush Holt’s bill, which was recently approved by a House committee, would be a big improvement (Timothy B. Lee, American.com, 5/23/07)
- Kathy Dopp Says “Support Clean Elections in 2008” (Kathy Dopp, OpEdNews.com, 5/17/07)
- The Unkept Promise on Voting (Editorial, New York Times, 5/16/07)
- ACM Applauds Committee Vote on E-Voting Reform Legislation (Association for Computing Machinery, 5/15/07)
- VerifiedVoting.org Factsheet on Voting System Changes [PDF] (VerifiedVoting.org, 5/9/07)
- Trust in Paper (Editorial, New York Times, 5/5/07)
- It’s Time To Outlaw Paperless Electronic Voting in the U.S. (David Dill, VerifiedVoting.org, 4/26/07)
- OVERTHROWING OF DEMOCRACY -From Within – “Pseudo Activism” (Joyce McCloy, OpEdNews.com, 4/9/07)
- Protect E-Voting – Support H.R. 811 (Ed Felten, freedom-to-tinker.com, 3/12/07)
- H.R. 811, the new Holt bill (Avi Rubin, avi-rubin.blogspot.com, 2/17/07)
Amendments to H.R. 811
On May 8, 2007, the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections favorably voted on an amended version of H.R. 811 in a 6–3 vote. Amendments proposed by Reps. Ehlers, Lungren, and McCarthy were voted down while an amendment by Rep. Capuano was adopted.