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National Issues

Voter Action's Statement in Opposition to S. 3212 PDF  | Print |  Email
By VoterAction   
July 30, 2008
Senate Bill Would Sanction the Continued USe of Electronic Voting Machines

Despite overwhelming evidence which demonstrates that the use of electronic voting machines seriously threatens the integrity of our elections, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Robert Bennett have introduced a bill that funds and encourages the continued use of this faulty voting equipment.

Electronic voting machines – otherwise known as Direct Recording Electronic voting systems (DREs) – have repeatedly proven to be unreliable and insecure for the recording and counting of votes. As a result, states across the country have found that the cheapest, easiest and simplest way to address voting machine flaws and improve voter confidence is to use paper ballot-based systems which, unlike DREs, allow for meaningful recounts and audits. Senators Feinstein and Bennett’s bill completely disregards the fact that, after suffering elections marred by malfunctions and controversy, many states including Florida, New Mexico, Iowa, and California, have thrown out their DREs in favor of paper ballot voting systems. S.3212 ignores these expensive lessons and would allocate millions more of taxpayer dollars for the continued use of DRE machines, amounting to a public boondoggle for the private companies that have marketed these flawed voting systems.

The United States Congress should be investigating, not financing, the private companies that have sold the DRE systems to states and counties throughout the country. With more than 3 billion dollars at stake, the American people have the right to know whether these companies knowingly marketed a defective product, as some evidence now reveals. If, in fact, any of these companies engaged in deceptive practices in accessing public funds, they should be held accountable and states and counties should get their money back. Just as Congress needed to apply scrutiny to Big Tobacco, it is time for Congress to investigate the elections industry. 

VoterAction opposes the Feinstein/Bennett bill and calls on Congress to mandate paper ballot-based systems for our elections and to launch a full investigation of US voting systems companies that have profited from the sale of DRE machines across the country.
 
 
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