Articles

E-Vote: States, Local Governments Unite to Pull Elections Bill

The bill, introduced in February "would micromanage election procedures, impose costly new processes for hand-counting paper ballots and expose election officials and pollworkers to lawsuits in federal court."

by / September 27, 2007
National organizations representing the nation's governors, mayors, state legislatures and cities have joined the National Association of Counties (NACo) in calling on House leadership to send back to the drawing board legislation which would require the replacement of existing voting equipment in time for next year's presidential election.

The groups sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer a letter today urging them "to resist bringing H.R. 811, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 to the House floor during the first session of the 110th Congress." The organizations argue that state and local officials were not adequately involved in the legislative process and as a result, the bill is "fraught with problems."

In the Sept. 18 letter, the groups ask House leadership to avoid hasty consideration of the bill because, "The majority of states already require a voter-verified paper record of every voter's vote. H.R. 811 would preempt those laws, requiring states to replace equipment they purchased to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 -- even if it already offers a voter-verified paper trail -- with technology that does not exist yet. As a result, it imposes an unfunded federal mandate of unknown proportions."

The letter signers include the National Governors Association, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, NACo, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the International City/County Management Association, the National Association of Towns and Townships, the National Association of Election Officials, the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks, and the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers.

The groups called on Congress "to bring state and local officials to the table to work together to write legislation that has meaningful and realistic standards and allows sufficient time, flexibility and funding for implementation to assure every American voter of the integrity of our elections."