"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Orwell-- The US is probably moving toward becoming a heavily controlled Rightist state. This blog is an effort to document how that happened.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

HAVA Opens the Door to Potential Abuses

HAVA Opens the Door to Potential Abuses
The 2002 “reform” bill was called the Helping America Vote Act. It was a measure that was to give the Republican Party a great advantage in future elections. Designed to eliminate hanging chads and other threats to the nation’s election system, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 may have unleashed even greater threats to the integrity of the ballot. It mandates that all states improve their training of election workers and balloting procedures by 2006. Congress promised to provide the states with $3.9 in aid over three years to carry out the provisions of the bill, but later proved slow in appropriating the money. States often used the money to implement “paperless ballots,” or touch-screen voting.
Machines that make possible paper validation audit trails in the event of malfunctions were unavailable when the 2002 act was passed. However such machines eventually were produced. They printed what the voter did, but the voter did not get a receipt. Often, there was a way for the voter to see the record of what he had done. Regardless of the type of device, they were far more error prone than any other method of voting. Sometimes the printers jammed. Sometimes the printed record did not match the electronic record of votes cast. The central programs for tabulating votes frequently broke down. By 2008, some jurisdictions were scrapping their touch screen voting machines.

Legislation to require audit trails died in the House Administration Democrat sponsors but has attracted only 8 from the nation’s governing party. For some reason, the Republican Congress has been unable to consider this legislation. It is impossible to prove beyond all doubt that electronic vote tampering has changed the results of major elections, but there is a plethora of evidence to suggest that control of the firms that service the voting machines and calculation programs has given the GOP a great advantage. Republicans added provisions that encourage scrubbing the rolls of ineligible voters and requires first-time voters to show identification of various sorts. These provisions make it difficult to challenge the purging of voters. This HAVA requirement has led to the introduction of state legislation to mandate such identification materials as would likely dampen participation in elections, particularly among minority people. In Florida, additional purging of voters was carried out under legislation that forbade the reproduction of the list of suspected felons.
When the secrecy provision was struck down in 2004, it was learned that a new list of purged voters contained nearly 50,000 names. Beginning, January 1, 2006, HAVA gives the 50 state secretaries of state the power to purge voters whose ID cards and Social Security numbers do not correspond with information found on state verification lists. This provision has spawned a great deal of state voter ID legislation, which can easily be used to purge black and Hispanic voters when they show up to vote. In Georgia, the Secretary of State purged 80,000 voters in June 2006, even though to falsely register was already a crime.
A number of states have used HAVA to justify hiring Choice Point, a Republican-operated company to purge the voting rolls of “ineligible voters.” The danger here is that the voter rolls will be scrubbed as they were in Florida in 2000, where between 40,000 and 97,000 people were deprived of the right to vote under the cover of scrubbing the rolls in order to remove felons. Unfair scrubbing was an object of considerable interest in the United Kingdom, where a television investigative report explored the Florida situation in detail. A Choice Point spokesman observed, “Given the outcome of our work in Florida and with the new president in place, we think our services will expand across the country.” An estimated one million voters are expected to be unfairly disqualified from voting as a result of HAVA’s scrubbing provision. They will be disproportionately minority people. In 2006, a provision of HAVA takes effect that makes it possible to improve upon the scrubbing by giving many minority voters provisional ballots that will never be counted.

The 2002 “reform” bill was called the Helping America Vote Act. It was a measure that was to give the Republican Party a great advantage in future elections. Designed to eliminate hanging chads and other threats to the nation’s election system, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 may have unleashed even greater threats to the integrity of the ballot. It mandates that all states improve their training of election workers and balloting procedures by 2006. Congress promised to provide the states with $3.9 in aid over three years to carry out the provisions of the bill, but later proved slow in appropriating the money. States often used the money to implement “paperless ballots,” or touch-screen voting.

Machines that make possible paper validation audit trails in the event of malfunctions were unavailable when the 2002 act was passed. However such machines eventually were produced. They printed what the voter did, but the voter did not get a receipt. Often, there was a way for the voter to see the record of what he had done. Regardless of the type of device, they were far more error prone than any other method of voting. Sometimes the printers jammed. Sometimes the printed record did not match the electronic record of votes cast. The central programs for tabulating votes frequently broke down. By 2008, some jurisdictions were scrapping their touch screen voting machines.

Legislation to require audit trails died in the House Administration Democrat sponsors but has attracted only 8 from the nation’s governing party. For some reason, the Republican Congress has been unable to consider this legislation. It is impossible to prove beyond all doubt that electronic vote tampering has changed the results of major elections, but there is a plethora of evidence to suggest that control of the firms that service the voting machines and calculation programs has given the GOP a great advantage. Republicans added provisions that encourage scrubbing the rolls of ineligible voters and requires first-time voters to show identification of various sorts. These provisions make it difficult to challenge the purging of voters. This HAVA requirement has led to the introduction of state legislation to mandate such identification materials as would likely dampen participation in elections, particularly among minority people. In Florida, additional purging of voters was carried out under legislation that forbade the reproduction of the list of suspected felons.

When the secrecy provision was struck down in 2004, it was learned that a new list of purged voters contained nearly 50,000 names. Beginning, January 1, 2006, HAVA gives the 50 state secretaries of state the power to purge voters whose ID cards and Social Security numbers do not correspond with information found on state verification lists. This provision has spawned a great deal of state voter ID legislation, which can easily be used to purge black and Hispanic voters when they show up to vote. In Georgia, the Secretary of State purged 80,000 voters in June 2006, even though to falsely register was already a crime.

A number of states have used HAVA to justify hiring Choice Point, a Republican-operated company to purge the voting rolls of “ineligible voters.” The danger here is that the voter rolls will be scrubbed as they were in Florida in 2000, where between 40,000 and 97,000 people were deprived of the right to vote under the cover of scrubbing the rolls in order to remove felons. Unfair scrubbing was an object of considerable interest in the United Kingdom, where a television investigative report explored the Florida situation in detail. A Choice Point spokesman observed, “Given the outcome of our work in Florida and with the new president in place, we think our services will expand across the country.” An estimated one million voters are expected to be unfairly disqualified from voting as a result of HAVA’s scrubbing provision. They will be disproportionately minority people. In 2006, a provision of HAVA takes effect that makes it possible to improve upon the scrubbing by giving many minority voters provisional ballots that will never be counted.


Sherman has written African American Baseball: A Brief History, which can be acquired from LuLu Publishing on line.http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?search_forum

1 comment:

Feather said...

is the 3.9$ sum millions or billions?

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About Me

Sherm spent seven years writing an analytical chronicle of what the Republicans have been up to since the 1970s. It discusses elements in the Republican coalition, their ideologies, strategies, informational and financial resources, and election shenanigans. Abuses of power by the Reagan and G. W. Bush administration and the Republican Congresses are detailed. The New Republican Coalition : Its Rise and Impact, The Seventies to Present (Publish America) can be acquired by calling 301-695-1707. On line, go to http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping. It can also be obtained through the on-line operations of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Do not consider purchasing it if you are looking for something that mirrors the mainstream media!