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Pending Election Reform In Congress Doesn't Give Citizens Right To Sue

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 05:26 AM
Original message
Pending Election Reform In Congress Doesn't Give Citizens Right To Sue
http://www.alternet.org/rights/50492

Pending Election Reform in Congress Doesn't Give Citizens Right to Sue

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet. Posted April 13, 2007.

A law regulating voting machines making its way through Congress lacks a provision allowing voters to sue -- a right that was a cornerstone of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

Should citizens explicitly be allowed to sue if they can prove their votes have been stolen or miscounted by electronic voting machines?

As election integrity activists focus their attention on pressuring the House Committee on Administration to ban electronic voting machines when Congress reconvenes next week, the question of whether voters can individually sue -- known as a private cause of action -- has received scant public attention. But that legal right, which was a cornerstone of the federal Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, is not in the panel's bill, H.R. 811. Instead, the bill says citizens can sue under other preexisting laws.

"There is no new private cause of action," said John Bonifaz, a noted voting rights attorney who is now a senior legal fellow with Demos, a New York City-based progressive think tank that focuses on numerous pro-democracy issues, speaking of the bill proposed by Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J.

- snip -

Including an explicit private cause of action in H.R. 811 is also critical for opponents of electronic voting machines, although few have made that argument. The Holt bill, as now written, would allow electronic voting machines if a durable paper printout of individual votes that citizens could verify was made available. That proposed standard, which the bill's authors hope will regulate many problem-plagued machines out of use, is still dubious for one primary reason: With the exception of optical-scan ballots, where individual voters mark the ballots by hand or by nontabulating ballot marking devices that are then scanned by computers, there is no way to discern actual individual voter intent if an election is contested and goes to a recount. (Never mind that the envisioned durable printers for DREs do not yet exist!)

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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Oh Goody.
Who needs rights anyway? :mad:

K&R.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. FACT: "citizens can sue under other preexisting laws"
Using more information and scary soundbites to mislead
weak minded who believe everything they read.

Next step: Subscribe to the National Enquirer and keep
up with the latest on the 200 pound infant.
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. Don't feel bad neither can the Candidate
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- Though sharply divided, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in Saturday to stop the court-ordered manual count of tens of thousands of presidential election ballots in Florida.

George W. Bush campaign workers responded to the order with "subdued exuberance." Ron Klain, a legal advisor to Vice President Al Gore, said the campaign is "obviously disappointed."

The high court voted 5-4 to stop a recount that had been ordered Friday by the Florida Supreme Court to address claims by Gore that some votes cast for him on November 7 were never counted.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/12/09/...
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. I have this theory
Edited on Fri Apr-13-07 10:25 AM by Kurovski
that activists who regularly engage in name-calling and condescension automatically lose 70% percent of their professional credibility, and 100% of personal trustworthiness.

It is reasonable to believe that overlooking the protection of rights with specific laws applicable to new forms of voting could very well be problematic.

The enormous amount of power and vast sums of money to be gained with stolen elections are the reason why we must sew up every possible loophole.

This is a loophole, imo.

Edit: Loose/lose.



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TEDIUM Donating Member (12 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. *sigh*
this is beginning to become a never ending cycle
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Tired so soon?
Edited on Fri Apr-13-07 01:48 PM by Kurovski
Willkommen.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. candidates can sue, right? is the author saying HR 811 takes away anything?
seems to me that the author is trying to act as if
we will be have more rights if we don't pass HR 811.

But that isn't correct.

HR 811 isn't taking that right to sue away.

If it is, please show where it says so in the bill.

Thank you.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-13-07 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. naw, he isn't saying that AFAIK
This is the same guy who wrote the article "Are Voting Machine Purists Standing in the Way of Reform?", isn't he?

I think it's a pretty good article, if you read the whole thing. (My opinion is colored by the fact that he quotes John Bonifaz, and I like John a lot. I'm sure we don't agree about everything, but he's a good guy.)
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-14-07 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. The right to sue under pre-existing laws: how has that worked out?
Any notable instances of wrongs redressed?

Signed,

Sore Loserman, et al.
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