Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Restore the Audit Requirements in HR5036 (Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008)

Your phone calls are needed NOW to members of the US House of Representatives. A substitute amendment to Rep Russ Holt's “Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008” (HR 5036) substantially gutted the bill's original auditing provisions and replaced them with provisions that do next to nothing to ensure the accuracy of unofficial election results. This substitute bill passed out of the House Committee on House Administration on April 2th.

Your call is needed because these important auditing requirements must be restored to the bill. Only with required audits can we be assured that reported election results match the voice of the voters.

Among the problems with the substitute amendment is that the original 3% audit requirement has been reduced to only 2%. The original 3% was regarded by many in the election integrity community as being too low. The amendment would take it lower still.

Another problem is that the amended bill allows those precincts to be audited to be chosen before the vote counting and release of results in all precincts. Knowing in advance of release of the vote counts allows for the easy manipulation of vote counting in all those precincts not to be audited.

The message must be "There cannot be valid election audits without a requirement for the public release of a report of all the machine-counted vote counts which might be selected for audit 'before' making the random selections of such vote counts to manually audit."

The message must be "restore the original audit requirements."

Note that the Alliance for Democracy does not oppose this bill. It has many fine qualities; however, the audit requirements must be returned to the strong requirements of the original bill in order to have audits which provide assurance that election counts are accurate.

For additional perspectives, see this article on Truthout.org

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