The "new" Holt bill is a totally deceptive and fraudulent bill.
Attorney at Law
06 Feb 2007 (Also appeared here)
It uses the term "Ballot" to mean nothing much more than the old-fashioned "paper records" under the original "old" HR550 --- in other words in the "new" Holt "ballot" actually means something that will NEVER get counted on the FIRST count. Under the "new" Holt bill, just like under the old one, they will still count the electronic votes FIRST and release those as the results on election night, and the paper "ballots" only count (again just like the old Holt bill) if the audits show discrepancies.
And some of us were SO excited that we were going to get paper "ballots" out of the Holt bill's new form.
In fact the new Holt bill, just to make this PERFECTLY clear, would require a sign to be placed in polling places that says IN ALL CAPS:
'THE PAPER BALLOT REPRESENTING YOUR VOTE SHALL SERVE AS THE VOTE OF RECORD IN ALL RECOUNTS AND AUDITS. DO NOT LEAVE THE VOTING BOOTH UNTIL YOU HAVE CONFIRMED THAT IT ACCURATELY RECORDS YOUR VOTE'.
Well, as the conviction of the Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland) elections officials quite clearly shows (thanks to citizen efforts like Kathleen Wynne's video and the prosecutor's work) you really can't count even on DEMOCRATIC officials to recount or audit even DEMOCRATIC counties in order to help DEMOCRATS like John Kerry for President! Now why is that?? Well, human nature trumps the statutory drive for accuracy and elections officials are not supposed to be partisan no matter what -- so -- guess what takes over? (1) avoiding work during holidays and (2) they've already invested their pride and jobs in the original vote count and they last thing they want to do is embarrass themselves or audit themselves.
(We've yet to apply the lessons of Arthur Anderson and Enron to post-election remedies, you could say).
Of course the public oversight that would possibly give us meaningful post-election remedies is woefully unaddressed in the "new" Holt bill. We prefer the notion of the government auditing itself on the very processes (elections) that give the government all of its legitimacy, money, power, and taxing authority (if any).
Don't you think that every reasonable person would think that a "ballot" is something that gets counted on election night and/or is part of the initial results? They would. That's why everyone should tell Rep. Holt and all of his cosponsors that this bill is fraudulent and deceptive use of the democratically sacred term "ballot.
It takes a lot of chutzpah to propose a bill like this concerning ONE'S OWN RE-ELECTION to CONGRESS and use the term "ballot" in such a deceptive way. The studies already show that only a relatively small percentage of voters catch errors in the paper trails. It's kind of like the percentage of people who closely check their grocery store receipt, basically. If it "seems about right" even if they look at it, it won't be closely, so lots of errors creep through.
Only now, under the "new" Holt bill, those 80% or more of the errors that creep through to the paper "ballots" are now "voter-verified" gold-standard super duper VOTER CONFIDENCE fraudulent totals! Wunderbar! The voters will know what really counts (not the paper) and they won't check the paper, Holt even insists on a giant sign in all capital letters to make sure of that.
For any doubters, an un amended part of HAVA states that state law governs what constitutes a vote so unless state law changes, there's nothing about Holt that is going to give you a real ballot, only a fake fraudulent paper record dressed up as a ballot.
There are more problems, big problems, with the new Holt bill, but that's enough for one post, this stuff doesn't go down easy. By no means limited to just this fraud on the public, something smells in the world's largest democracy when this bill presumably comes in with some two hundred plus congressional cosponsors and is on a fast track so powerful that (some say) mere citizens can not stop it.