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By Senator Dianne Feinstein   
August 12, 2008
This letter was published by the New York Times on August 11, 2008

Washington, Aug. 6, 2008

To the Editor:

A Bad Electronic Voting Bill” (editorial, Aug. 3) criticized the fact that a bipartisan bill being considered by the Senate Rules Committee would require that all states provide voters with a paper record or other means of verifying votes on electronic voting systems.

I have said over and over again that I personally favor voting systems with paper ballots that are read by optical scanners. But I am convinced that there is no way we could move such a bill through Congress. Such paper-only efforts have failed in the House, and have no bipartisan support in the Senate.

About 35 percent of the voters currently use touch-screen systems and another 55 percent use optical scan systems. Therefore, the important thing is to see that these systems are accurate, reliable and secure.

I believe that the Bipartisan Electronic Voting Reform Act, which I sponsored with Senator Robert Bennett, Republican of Utah, is the best we can do right now. So I am pleased that my ranking member joined me through long rounds of negotiations to produce this bill.

Dianne Feinstein
Chairwoman, Senate Committee
on Rules and Administration

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