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Sample letter on 5036 you can send
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See some suggestions for
improvements to 5036
bill from the Library of Congress
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Bills in Congress
Israel - American Democracy Index Act
Feingold - Ellison bill for
registration, Oct. 29, 2009
HR 512 would
forbid chief election officials from campaigning
HR 1604 would
require states to offer mail ballots
HR 1719 -
online registration - Lofgren.
HR 2510 would
reimburse states for the cost of absentee ballot tracking. Passed by House
July 30, 2009
would require states to have redistricting commissions
Democracy Restoration Act - Conyers & Feingold
Military and Overseas Empowerment; passed into law as part of
section 575 & following.
HR 2894 Congressman Rush Holt
introduced June 17, 2009 - Audits, paper ballots,
Previous Holt Bills: HR
August 1, 2008.
Title: To direct the Election Assistance Commission
to reimburse jurisdictions for the costs incurred in conducting manual
audits of the results of the general elections for Federal office to be held
in November 2008.
Congressman Rush Holt Introduced Bill
HR5036 January 17, 2008
Brought to a vote in the House on April 15
as a "suspension" bill (limited debate, requires 2/3 vote to pass), it did
not pass. See Holt's
The Emergency Assistance for Secure
Elections Act of 2008
This bill was
introduced into Congress on January 17, 2008, by Representative
Rush Holt of New Jersey
HR 5036 provides
reimbursements which can help states, counties and other jurisdictions to
improve some of the problems that have emerged from the Help America Vote
Act of 2002 (HAVA). The bill emphasizes paper ballots and audits. All the
improvements are to be in place for the November 2008 election.
The bill does not have mandates. Its four areas of reimbursement are
optional. No state or other jurisdiction is required to participate.
Its first two offers of reimbursement are in Section 2 of the bill. Both
offers are available only to "certain jurisdictions": namely, states or
other jurisdictions which in 2006 had voting machines which did not use
paper ballots, or did not even produce a paper record that could be verified
by the voter.
OPTION NUMBER ONE: If one of these "certain jurisdictions" obtains
precinct-based equipment that tabulates paper ballots or scans paper
ballots, the costs will be reimbursed.
(The bill frequently uses the word "ballot" in two ways-- to refer to a
real, voter-marked, paper ballot, and also to the paper trail inside an
electronic voting machine, which voters may view (through a plastic cover)
to verify that the machine has understood their intentions.
However the bill is clear in stating that replacement equipment which it
will pay for must be "a voting system that uses a paper ballot marked by the
voter by hand or a paper ballot marked by the voter with the assistance of a
non-tabulating ballot marking device.....accessible for individuals with
OPTION NUMBER TWO, also in Section 2 of the bill, is intended for
jurisdictions which continue to use
Direct Recording Electronic voting
machines (DRE's) that lack any paper trail. The bill offers reimbursement of
costs "to obtain, deploy, and tabulate emergency paper ballots....that may
be used in the event of the failure of a direct
recording electronic voting system in the regularly scheduled general
elections for federal office to be held in November 2008." These emergency
paper ballots must be counted as regular ballots. (The bill does NOT require
that paper ballots be available to all voters on request, and it does not
describe what constitutes a "failure" of the
Five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000) is authorized for payments under
Section 2. Wisconsin jurisdictions will not qualify to apply for any of the
Section 2 money, because we already have some form of paper involved in our
The third and fourth options for reimbursement in HR 5036 appear to be
available to any state, county, or equivalent location which would choose to
apply, including Wisconsin.
Reimbursement OPTION NUMBER THREE is in Section 3 of HR 5036. This offers
reimbursement for the costs of manual audits of any of the regularly
scheduled general elections for Federal office in November 2008.
Reimbursement may also include costs for audits of other elections,
referenda, or initiatives that are held at the same time.
The bill spells out one format for conducting an audit, and also offers the
choice of using an alternative sampling mechanism which would be at least as
statistically effective. Plans for an alternative mechanism must be
submitted to and approved by the
Director of the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) prior to the election.
One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) is authorized for reimbursement
of audits under Section 3.
OPTION NUMBER FOUR, in Section 4 of HR 5036, offers to reimburse states,
counties, or equivalent locations for the costs of conducting hand counts of
votes cast on paper ballots for Federal office in November 2008. In this
part of the bill, "paper" includes both real paper ballots marked by voters
and also paper printouts produced by Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail
(VVPAT) equipment attached to DRE's.
Procedures for the hand count, including public observation, are spelled out
in the bill.
It is not clear whether rural portions of a county which already do hand
counting, or choose to do so in November 2008, can apply for the
reimbursement, or whether the entire county must use that method.
Thirty million dollars ($30,000,000) is authorized for payments of hand
counting costs under Section 4.
Section 5 of the bill authorizes study, testing, and development of products
to ensure accessibility of paper ballot verification for individuals with
disabilities, voters whose primary language is not English, and voters with
difficulties in literacy. The Director of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is to report to
Congress by June 30, 2009, on the results of the study.
Three million dollars ($3,000,000) is authorized for this study.
Throughout the bill, the Administrator of General Services is given
authority. In a couple of places, determination of whether costs are
reasonable "shall be made by the Administrator in consultation with the
Election Assistance Commission."
produced by Mary Lou Diehl, February 9, 2008 for Fair Elections Wisconsin
Web page by Paul Malischke
firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated
April 09, 2011