Cong. Dennis Kucinich (R-OH) just announced that he no longer supports the Holt Bill, H.R. 811. This article was originally published after Dennis Kucinich introduced H.R. 6200, a bill requiring paper ballots only for presidential elections. The bill was introduced in the 109th Congress. With the new Democratic majority, Kucinich became a co-sponsor of the Holt bill, H.R. 811, a bill that critics argue further erodes voting rights and confidence. The public input to H.R. 811 has been intense and consistent. Kucinich made his announcement at Democracy Fest, a DFA event put together by voting rights advocate Nancy Tobi. Tobi has been one of the harshest critics of the Holt bill. She’s a frequent contributor to OpEdNews. Additional coverage can be found from BlackBoxVoting.Org, election law attorney Paul Lehto, and Internet Poster Einsteinia.
M. Collins: Paper for President
The Time is NOW
The United States just endured another election that inspired more suspicion than confidence. Two years after the fiasco of Election 2004 in Ohio and elsewhere, four year years after the never investigated mystery of Georgia 2002, and six years after the disgrace of Florida which saw the loser of the popular vote (s)elected President by the Supreme Court; major problems pervade the US election system. The new problems created by computerized voting and tabulation merge with traditional race and class based election fraud in an assault on free, fair, transparent and inclusive elections.
The Democratic controlled House of Representatives may be 10 to 12 members shy on the left side of the aisle due to election irregularities. Jonathan Simon of the Election Defense Alliance just published a major paper demonstrating that as many as three million votes may be missing from the 2006 election. Problems of this sort were anticipated by internet poster TruthIsAll and this author in a three part series in “Scoop” which developed a vote fraud model that identified likely races for those photo finishes that always seem to put a Republican in office.
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Paper for President: House Resolution 6200
Representative Dennis Kucinich, D, Ohio introduced HR 6200 on September 27, 2006. His bill will “amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to conduct Presidential elections using paper ballots and to count those ballots by hand, and for other purposes.”
The main features of the bill include special rules for Presidential elections.
- Presidential elections will be conducted entirely with paper ballots;
- Each precinct will include no more than 500 paper ballots per ballot box;
- Paper ballots will be counted by hand in the precincts where voting takes place and vote counting will be witnessed by a representative of each political party with a candidate on the ballot “as well as any interested member of the public.”
HR 6200 takes the logical step of moving Washington’s birthday celebration to election day during presidential election years making it easier for working people to vote.
If passed, the bill takes effect in time for the November 2008 presidential election.
Rep. Kucinich announced HR 6200 at the
9/06 “We Count” Conference in Cleveland
The Only Viable Alternative for Balloting: A Clear Public Consensus
A Zogby Poll of 1018 likely voters in August 2006 found that 60% are aware of the problems posed by electronic voting, 80% oppose private vendors keeping the operation of their electronic voting devices a trade secret, and 92% support the right of the public to watch vote counting. Other surveys, online and by phone, show that public confidence in US elections is below 50%.
Governor, Ohio, 2006
Democrat Ted Strickland crushed former Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell in the race for Governor but voting problems remain in Ohio and around the country (from CNN).
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Paper balloting has the advantage of producing ballots that actually exists, can be counted in public, stored indefinitely, and reviewed for purposes of recounting and election auditing. The alternative, so called voter verified paper ballots are appendages of the failed and likely corrupted electronic voting machines that they are supposed to verify. By seeming to correct a problem with touch screen voting, voter verified ballots serve to both enshrine and ratify an electronic voting system that has failed again and again. Proponents of this approach trail public sentiment by a significant degree given the Zogby results, other recent polls, and internet polls where up to 85% consistently vote to cease electronic voting of all kinds.
The Kucinich bill currently has 20 cosponsors. It is one smoking gun election fraud scandal away from passage by acclamation given the current distrust of everything electronic and computerized in our electoral system.
Hand counted paper ballots do not address two other vipers at the throat of US democracy, race and class based voter suppression and private funding of political campaigns. These twin threats to democracy must be addressed as well. However, hand counted paper ballots for presidential elections will provide greater assurance for those who vote that their vote was taken correctly and counted openly in front of witnesses from the political parties and the general public. Under the Kucinich bill, any US citizen reading this article can request and be granted the right to witness vote counting. It’s about time!
More information on hand counted paper ballots at Count Every Vote.
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House Resolution 6200, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D, Ohio
109th CONGRESS 2d Session
H. R. 6200
To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to conduct Presidential elections using paper ballots and to count those ballots by hand, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 27, 2006
To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to conduct Presidential elections using paper ballots and to count those by hand, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the Paper Ballot Act of 2006′.
SEC. 2. REQUIRING USE OF HAND-COUNTED PAPER BALLOTS IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
`(7) SPECIAL RULES FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS- Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, in the case of a regularly scheduled general election for the electors of President and Vice President (beginning with the election in November 2008), the following rules shall apply:
`(A) The State shall conduct the election using only paper ballots
`(B) The State shall ensure that the number of ballots cast at a precinct or equivalent location which are placed inside a single box or similar container does not exceed 500.
`(C) The ballots cast at a precinct or equivalent location shall be counted by hand by election officials at the precinct, and a representative of each political party with a candidate on the ballot, as well as any interested member of the public, may observe the officials as they count the ballots. The previous sentence shall not apply with respect to provisional ballots cast under section 302(a).’.
SEC. 3. MOVING OBSERVATION OF WASHINGTON‘S BIRTHDAY TO ELECTION DAY DURING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YEARS.
Section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended—
(1) by inserting ‘the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in 2008 and every four years thereafter, and after ‘Washington’s Birthday,’
(2) by inserting ‘in any other year’ after ‘February’.