Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Holt's H.R. 811 is finally coming up for a vote

Congressman Rush Holt's bill requiring a voter verified paper trail is scheduled to come up for a vote tomorrow. I've been traveling out of town, and I just returned home this evening (to an overflowing inbox about this issue). I was planning on writing up my thoughts about H.R. 811, but I just noticed that Ed Felten did a great job of writing his up on his blog. I pretty much agree with everything he said, so no need to repeat it here.

I support Holt's bill. I know that many activists, including several who have contacted me today, are opposed to this bill because it does not entirely ban DREs. However, at the moment, I believe that we need this bill to pass. It would outlaw the voting systems used in places like Maryland and Georgia and, I believe, 13 other states that have entirely paperless voting.

What's sorely lacking right now are paper trails and mandatory audits. Holt provides these. I do hold out hope that some day we will be able to utilize the added benefits of end to end cryptographic systems. But right now, the Holt bill is the best measure I can foresee to have a realistic chance of eliminating the paperless DREs that I may have to vote on next November 4th.