Susan Davis Proposes Amendment to Restrict the Use of Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machines

September 12, 2007

By Warren Stewart, VerifiedVoting.org     

“It is my hope that Congress will address this issue in the near future. Our democracy is too important to ignore this issue any longer.”

Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) has proposed amending The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 (HR 811) to limit the use of direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems to one per precinct. The amendment would also allow DREs for use in early voting. The amendment has also been endorsed by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).

“Electoral integrity is of the utmost importance to guaranteeing our democracy and I support many of the provisions of Rep. Rush Holt’s bill (H.R. 811) and respect the thought behind it,” Rep. Davis said in a statement circulated last week. "However, as we have looked closely at all the issues concerning Election Day voting systems, we are still ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room."

Rep. Davis pointed out that the proposed amendment mirrors the recent actions of the California Secretary of State in limiting the future use of DREs.

 
"Although Rep. Holt’s bill has looked at many tough issues, there is one controversial issue that seems to come up again and again in my discussions with voters, activists and elections officials. It is an issue that has been dealt with in many states including my home state of California just recently with the Secretary of State’s Top-to-Bottom review. The wealth of data and opinions on this topic are so strong that I feel Congress would be remiss if we do not allow a debate on the question of whether and how Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Voting Machines should be used in federal elections.”

In a National Journal Technology Daily article earlier this week, Alysoun McLaughlin, a representative of the National Association of Counties (NACO), commented that they hoped Congress would carefully consider Rep. Davis’ amendment. "This proposal slices the issue in an entirely different way," McLaughlin said.

The schedule for next week has not been announced, but it appears likely that HR 811 will see floor action. There is thusf ar no indication if Rep. Davis’ amendment - or any amendments - will be allowed by leadership.