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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 03:21 PM
Original message
Poll question: Your feelings or comments on the Holt Bill
If you would, can you discuss how the Holt Bill would impact your state?
And or others if you want to say.

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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FLAprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Holt Bill?
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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. Holt is supporter of electronic and privatization, generally, so always an imperfect champion.
Edited on Sat Jul-18-09 03:31 PM by MarjorieG
Since deploying unsafe and junk technology, catch-up remedies for e-voting, like Holt's bills, always do too little to address bigger and current to future issues.

For NY, it bans levers, something mechanical we are still trying to keep, because any electronic machines, even just secret vote counting scanners, are more costly, requiring more procedure than election boards want to do.

Now that the fantasy of a perfect machine and a safe, privatized election has worn off, we're stuck with state law expressing that 2005 fantasy, and recurring Holt Bills.

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. wasnt there an amendment added to allow levers?
My apologies but I researched and couldn't find a link but thought I heard that
or maybe read it here.

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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-19-09 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I think we're still trying. When Ellen Theisen, Teresa Hommel and Debra Bowen, etc, met a convention
(Universalist?), I think allowing levers was one of nine suggested points to correct (as if still needed to be done), and nothing official to NY state law yet (although we're working on it).

I think Louise Slaughter indicated that NY isn't as great an interest to Congress right now. (She was being approached for an amendment). Check with Howard on that.
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. The bill is flawed - deeply - but some progress is required...
Edited on Sat Jul-18-09 08:39 PM by althecat
This is the only real chance for progress before 2010 midterms - and therefore I would encourage its passage. There are states out there with paperless DREs this bill at least addresses these (the worst and most vulnerable) electorates. It will not fix elections - but it will bring some attention to bear on the subject and is a step towards getting rid of the most odious technology out there.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. clicked on your graphic for scoop
very nice website by the way.
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Democracy Cop Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-19-09 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. Holt Bill is GREAT!!
Holt bill would be great because it will force states to use paper and lever machines are not audit able
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-19-09 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
8.  Join NYVV. Like you, they are promoting electronic vote counting. n/t

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-19-09 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I am ambivalent about the Holt Bill, but feel that the levers should be allowed
Now back in 2003 and 2004 I would not have said that, but the more we learn about the
currently available voting systems, I believe that New York is far better off
with what they have.

True, with levers, there is no permanent paper ballot record of the vote.

But with levers, there is a sharply limited risk to ballots -
each machine counts 999 votes period, so problems or fraud is limited to the number of votes
that can be affected.

Today's machines, even optical scan - still are using software to do the count,
and with optical scan, the paper isn't counted that often.
Some paper may be counted in audits, and some or all paper ballots - could - be counted
IF the state has good recount laws.

But the fact is, we really need to work hard to get accurate counts on election day,
because often the problems aren't detected, the fraud isn't caught, the recount isn't requested,
and the outcome is announced on election night.

Its incredibly hard to overturn an improper election results, ESPECIALLY if it is fraudulent,
as in the case of a coup.

*Also it is important to acknowledge that New York has a very low undervote rate for president,
which is a positive sign and also something that DREs cannot boast.
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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-20-09 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Agree: Holt Bill is GREAT.
HR 2894 needs to be passed ASAP. I don't think we are going to do any better -- this bill has the basics of what we need.to give every state a level playing floor of at least having a paper backup for every vote and basic audits. And NO MORE DREs by 2014.

Then those of you who want so much more can go work on your own states and see what you can get.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-20-09 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Whoa! ALLCAPS!
It sure is "GREAT" for single-issue advocates bent on paper ballots counted by computers, rarely audited in a statistically significant manner, and quite possibly NOT available for a recount despite the rhetoric stating otherwise.

Speaking of wise, we have Ellen Theisen and the late John Gideon explaining why they don't support this "great" bill.


snip

VotersUnite! commends the Congressman for the many improvements included in this years version, and we supported it in its initial form. However, during the finalization process, a provision was added that has caused us to withdraw our support.

The bill would require a non-tabulating ballot-marking device (BMD) in each polling place that allows the voter to privately and independently verify and cast the permanent paper ballot without requiring the voter to manually handle the paper ballot. (Section 102.)

snip

The ramifications of this added accessibility requirement are significant for every jurisdiction in the country. Every jurisdiction would have to replace its accessible equipment by 2016 2014.

The only vendor that advertises a system with the autocast feature is ES&S, though the machine is not yet in use and has not yet been submitted to the EAC for certification. With a federal mandate for equipment currently developed by only one vendor, it is hard to predict how much the vendor will charge for the machine, the software, the support, and the licensing. The bill simply allocates such sums as may be necessary.

snip

http://www.votersunite.org/info/2009HoltBillTimeline.pd...


As you can see, there are the ALLCAPPERS, and then there are the analysts.

Take your pick.

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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-20-09 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yes indeed. HOLT BILL IS GREAT.
Edited on Mon Jul-20-09 10:41 PM by UnitedVoters
As you can see, there are the ALLCAPPERS, and then there are the analysts.


Yes indeed the dynamic duo of the late Gideon and the would-be VotePad vendor Theisen (who perhaps still has a vested interest in seeing the Holt bill fail) refused to support this great bill over this silly non-issue that has plenty of time to be corrected by 2014. It seems that Ellen (who is the only living member of the duo left and thus holds current responsibility for their stance on the bill) finds opposing competition for her own invention to help the disabled more important than immediately protecting millions of votes that would otherwise be paperless and unaudited at all without HR2894.

Who cares. I'll put my money and my all caps with Verified Voting, Common Cause, True Majority, Voter Action, the American Council of the Blind, the Brennan Center, the EFF and even Harri Hursti who are all endorsers or supporters of the bill.

On this forum yes, of late there have been allcappers along with a plethora of wanna-be wonks, self-proclaimed analysts, and blabbering blow-guns who have nothing better to do than to criticize others for expressing their opinions in their own way.

YOU take YOUR pick. (all caps intended)
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-20-09 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. "this silly non-issue"

Check.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. There ARE pros and cons
Edited on Tue Jul-21-09 12:56 AM by WillYourVoteBCounted
and also other things to consider, which is why I am ambivalent.

I totally oppose the argument that requires attacking either Holt (for the bill)
or that attacks the late John Gideon or Ellen Theisen (against).

For your information, Ellen Theisen is not promoting the VotePad and further she has no
vested interest in the Holt bill.

My pros and cons:

pro -

reluctant states will be forced to have paper ballot systems and will
have to ditch paperless DRES.

DREs are eliminated.

cons -

a billion $ will be spent on voting systems, helping out ES&S, Diebold, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic or others. I would rather see money spent on systems that if they have software, it is the people'software.

I would rather not see the vendors get a dime more.

New machines like ES&S DS 200 had a high undervote rate in Florida counties.
There is something wrong with that system.

Voting vendors are turning optical scanners into a combo DRE/optical scanner machine.

States like mine, NC - have the early version of Automark that cannot be adapted so that the paper ballot does not have to be handled. NC would have to replace Automarks in all counties, and we might also have to replace all existing optical scan machines. We have specific requirements for voting vendors in our states that would likely lead to all new voting machines when we just purchased them in 2006.

Our state would also be vulnerable to gutting of our current paper ballot law, for standards for voting vendors and their CEOS.

So my state may have something to lose - and voting vendors much to gain, if the Holt bill passes.

So before you attack people for not supporting the bill, listen to their reasons.

And vice verse.


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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. IMHO the pros FAR outweigh the cons -- the Holt bill is great.
Edited on Tue Jul-21-09 08:59 AM by UnitedVoters
For your information, Ellen Theisen is not promoting the VotePad and further she has no
vested interest in the Holt bill.


I said that as the inventor of VotePad she "perhaps" she has a vested interest in seeing the Holt bill fail, and I stand by that. She may not be actively promoting her invention right now but she may, repeat MAY, have an interest in a patent or other intelliectual property rights that would make the failure of the Holt bill to her advantage. The fact that she already has marketed for-profit a product that would be harmed by the bill automatically raises red flags when she opposes the legislation.

I would rather not see the vendors get a dime more.


Whether the Holt bill passes or not, the vendors going to get plenty of future cash as the DREs purchased in 2006 start aging and needing repairs or replacement with the next generation of paperless DRE crap and/or internet voting crap that will most assuredly be agressively marketed if this bill fails.

Voting vendors are turning optical scanners into a combo DRE/optical scanner machine.


That is false. The "DRE" portion of the new combo systems is a ballot marker that is needed to help the disabled vote privately and independently, which is the right thing to provide. The disabled have as much right to a private and independent vote as you or I do, and when they vote it should be possible for them to have a paper backup of their vote just as any other voter does.

States like mine, NC - have the early version of Automark that cannot be adapted so that the paper ballot does not have to be handled. NC would have to replace Automarks in all counties, and we might also have to replace all existing optical scan machines. We have specific requirements for voting vendors in our states that would likely lead to all new voting machines when we just purchased them in 2006.


By 2014 your state will have to start replacing a lot if not all of its 2006 stuff anyway. Automarks and scanners don't last forever. Eight years is a long time for electronic gear.

So my state may have something to lose - and voting vendors much to gain, if the Holt bill passes.


Your state will lose, as we all will, when we get another selected president like GW Bush in another election like FL 2000 or OH 2004 with perhaps no paper to recount in the problem area next time. As I said, the vendors are going to make money no matter what, perhaps even MORE if Holt bill does not pass.

So before you attack people for not supporting the bill, listen to their reasons.


If what I posted was an "attack" against someone then your post and Wilms' was equally an attack against me and I would thank you not to do so.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. I'm sure you mean well, but the "perhaps" is
wrong.

Its a way of inferring something, in a way maybe more damaging than coming right out
and stating an accusation.

By saying "perhaps", you exempt yourself from standing behind your own words.

Most of the people in the e-r issue are good people, albeit diverse.

I don't like the attacks on Rush Holt either.

As I said before, I am ambivalent about the bill, but you don't see me trying to
hurt or help it.

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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. My use of the word "perhaps" is absolutely correct because I don't actually know for sure....
Edited on Tue Jul-21-09 06:12 PM by UnitedVoters
... Ellen Theisen was selling VotePad for profit. That is fact. She apparently (as far as I know) has withdrawn from doing that, but does she still own a patent or intellectual property right that could have its value affected by the Holt bill?

Without proof either way I have to conclude that either one is possible; I don't know Ellen Theisen and I certainly don't know what is going on in her head or her finances.

But given even the possibility of this conflict of interest, it is a concern to me when she opposes the bill, especially around the area of disability access. Are her motives pure as the driven snow or is her position in some way affected by her own potential bottom line? I JUST DON'T KNOW. (all caps intended)

I do not intend any absolute accusation in bringing this up; I can't make such an accusation because I do not have the facts to do so. But to me this POSSIBLE conflict of interest is at least worth mentioning and considering. This is why I find the opinion of the other entities I named in my first post on this thread a lot more valuable than Ellen Theisen's opinion.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-22-09 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. nope, sorry
I know absolutely nothing about you (or maybe I know you, but I haven't recognized you yet), so I could say "perhaps" you're any number of things, and my statement would be "absolutely correct" as far as it went. However, it is neither logically nor (in my opinion) ethically correct to offer unsupported speculation about someone's ulterior motives in lieu of a response to a substantive argument. It's textbook ad hominem.

"Some kind of help is the kind of help we all could do without."
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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. So if I don't swallow everything a former for-profit vendor says its ad hominem? Sorry NOPE to you.
Edited on Thu Jul-23-09 10:58 AM by UnitedVoters
Ellen Theisen once did good work out front in the national movement, but then she made the CHOICE to become a for-profit vendor. These are all public facts.

I was disappointed in her when she became a for-profit vendor. If she wanted to sell the product and remain a guru of election integrity Theisen could have set VotePad up as a non-profit corporation (even paying herself a salary) but she did not. It was all for-profit.

She says she gave it up but as far as anyone knows show she may still own the rights to the product. If so (and no one says it's NOT so) the value of what she owns may be affected by legislation. Her invention still may have value (or not) based on the Holt bill or other bills. Even if she doesn't still own the rights, she may be biased in this area.

That gives me red flags and makes me give her opinion less weight, especially when she opposes a bill based on something closely related to HER INVENTION. So as I said, I'll put my money and my all caps with Verified Voting, Common Cause, True Majority, Voter Action, the American Council of the Blind, the Brennan Center, the EFF and even Harri Hursti who are all endorsers or supporters of the bill.

And then here comes you, telling me if I say that, or I guess if I don't worship every word of Theisen's opposition it's ad hominem? Puh-lease.

You can say "perhaps" I am anything, but who cares because I am nobody. I am not setting myself up to be a national expert on voting machines and election reforms like Theisen does. I have been lurking here since early 2004 and I attended one of the 2005 save our democracy conferences. I follow the issue to do what I can in my home area. That is all. I don't lead any national or state organization and I am not asking anyone to listen to me at those levels. All I did was respond to this stupid poll (and say how it would impact my state, per WYVBC's instructions) and I got whacked by Wilms for using all caps and not being an "analyst", and now by you for not bowing at the altar of Ellen Theisen who is STILL, no matter what you say, a former for-profit vendor.

WYVBC, what's this about your state North Carolina somehow having to get new machines if the bill passes? So it sounds like you are ready to screw the rest of the country over to get these machines or not get them... whatever, who cares. You used to be a good activist but now you are just as bad as anyone else on here in helping to bring this forum down. Nothing productive happens here anymore and nothing will because you all are having too much fun in your own little echo chamber. Go back and compare some posts from late 2004 to what has been posted lately. Damn shame.

Go ahead all of you and take your whacks at me. I am sure you will because you all have plenty of time in that none of you seems to be doing anything productive that will make a difference on this issue anymore. All you can do is whack the Holt bill and the man who introduced it, whine about paper ballots, and post news articles. Whoopie.

So go ahead and take your whacks, "activists". I am going back to lurking now.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. welcome to DU "United Voters" and please do tell us more...
First, you clearly don't know Ellen Theisen or the work she has done.

Second, more of your attack:

"WYVBC, what's this about your state North Carolina somehow having to get new machines if the bill passes? So it sounds like you are ready to screw the rest of the country over to get these machines or not get them... whatever, who cares


Third. UnitedVoters, if you had read my statements, you would see that I stated I am
"ambivalent" about the Holt bill.

Perhaps you don't know what ambivalent means so lets post the definition -


Main Entry: ambivalence
Pronunciation: \am-ˈbi-və-lən(t)s\
Function: noun
Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary
Date: 1918
1: simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
2 a: continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b: uncertainty as to which approach to follow
ambivalent \-lənt\ adjective
ambivalently adverb


Fourth, a good activist doesn't stop being a good activist.

Which accomplishment of mine would you try to tarnish?
creating a grassroots organization?
getting legislation drafted, introduced and passed?
fighting special interest groups lobbyists, including the NCACC?
launching a 100 county push for paper ballot/optical scan?
beating Diebold in Court?
By the way, we modeled our state legislation on an earlier Holt bill.

And after the paper ballot law,
passing legislation to improve post election audits
passing legislation to eliminate the "no match no vote" rule?

So "UnitedVoters", by being ambivalent about the Holt bill, how does that negate the above?

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. and "UnitedVoters", please tell about your activism
Edited on Thu Jul-23-09 11:28 AM by WillYourVoteBCounted
after all, it would bolster your creditability as you attack many "good" activists.

I am sure that you are proud of your body of work.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. it's pretty simple, actually
Edited on Fri Jul-24-09 07:28 AM by OnTheOtherHand
If you say why you disagree with her on the merits, there's really no need to impugn her integrity. You can even say you disagree without saying why, or you can ignore her entirely. It has nothing to do with having to "worship every word of Theisen's opposition."

It's fine to disagree with the late John Gideon, too -- but if you're going to impugn his integrity, then you've got some 'splainin' to do. (I'm utterly unpersuaded by your criticisms of Ellen, but I'll set that aside.) Sticking to the issues is likely to work better for you, depending of course on your objectives. If you don't want to be trusted or taken seriously, by all means, carry on.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #18
26. applying YOUR logic directly to YOUR intent PERHAPS
Edited on Thu Jul-23-09 11:35 AM by WillYourVoteBCounted
just perhaps, using your logic, you are trying to protect the bottom line of ES&S,
who MAY be the only vendor right now who meets the requirements of the legislation.


But that is IF I directly apply your logic.

PERHAPS your only interest is to promote the sale of the narrow range of disabled "accessible"
machines that can meet the reqs of the Holt bill.

But I do not subscribe to your "lobic".
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. the new ES&S DS 200 IS a combo DRE and optical scanner
Edited on Tue Jul-21-09 11:58 AM by WillYourVoteBCounted
and it has performed terribly in Florida.

The older optical scanners are simpler and better.


DS200 Overview

DS200 Product Brochure >
Voter Education Materials >
View Interactive Demo >


Key Features:
2005 WSG Compliant
Unique User-Friendly Design
Touch Screen Display
Paper-Based and DRE Vote Accumulation
Integrated Thermal Printer
Power Management
Anticipated Operational Enhancements

http://www.essvote.com/HTML/products/DS200.html

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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. HR2894 will force it to be used as a non-tabulating ballot marker only...
Edited on Tue Jul-21-09 06:09 PM by UnitedVoters
The bill does not allow the use of tabulating DREs for any purpose in federal elections after 2014.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. See this post.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
20. It won't pass this session. nt
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
27. For the record, I am ambivalent
Edited on Thu Jul-23-09 07:47 PM by WillYourVoteBCounted
so I am not pushing for or against.
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