Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GDC asks Bredesen to VETO HB0614

Just got this from Dick Klenz, you need to see this:



Governor Phil Bredesen,

The Germantown Democratic Club requests your attention to the following resolution:

Whereas, the Tennessee General Assembly passed HB0614 on January 12, 2010 which delays implementation of the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act and allows the continued use of discredited direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines in the state, and

Whereas, as stated without refutation on the floor of the Tennessee Senate, our DRE voting machines have recorded votes inaccurately in Tennessee and many other states and can easily be corrupted to report falsified election results, and

Whereas, such alteration of results is impossible to detect or trace and our DRE machines do not allow any verification of the intent of the voter nor recount of the same resulting in there being no way to adjudicate election disputes through independent counting of the ballots; no way to determine if ballots or counts have been altered either inadvertently, accidentally or intentionally and no way to resolve discrepancies in number of voters or ballots cast. Thus the often cited claim by election officials that our current DRE machines work fine and we have never had any problems is meaningless and the inability to verify voter intent and recount ballots could be cataclysmic in a close election for a major office such as occurred in the presidential ballot in Florida in 2000, and

Whereas, Senator Bill Ketron, the sponsor of HB0614, still maintained on the floor of the Senate on January 12, 2010 that the TVCA required the purchase of optical scanners meeting 2005 voluntary national standards despite the finding of a Davidson County Chancery Court judge that this was not true and the same court's ruling making clear that optical scanners meeting 2002 standards also satisfy the TVCA, and

Whereas, the main rationales for delay was stated on the floor of the Senate to be the cost to the counties for the implementation and utilization of paper ballots and the necessity to purchase optical scan machines which may be soon obsolete, and

Whereas, these costs were previously shown to be inflated and inaccurate, other states have experienced savings by converting to a paper ballot system, and 2002 scanners can be later upgraded to subsequent standards with a simple software upgrade, and

Whereas, Optical scanners meeting those same 2005 standards have now been approved by the United States Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), and the EAC was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to act as the independent, bipartisan commission in order to develop guidance to meet HAVA requirements, to adopt voluntary voting system guidelines, to serve as a national clearinghouse of information about election administration, to accredit testing laboratories, to certify voting systems, and to audit the use of HAVA funds, and

Whereas, Senator Mark Norris cited opposition to paper ballots by advocates for disabled citizens based on a letter from the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), but he failed to mention that many other advocates for disabled persons disagree with the AAPD, believe paper ballots are acceptable, and that accuracy and transparency in vote counting are essential for disabled voters, and

Whereas, actions by the office of the Secretary of State caused Senator Jim Kyle, the Democratic Leader in the Senate, to question the integrity of that office to administer this easily corrupted DRE election technology, and

Whereas, for reason known only to itself, the majority party has chosen the convenience and comfort of election officials over the sanctity and purity of the ballot and the rights of the citizens for fair, honest, and accurate administration of elections,


The Germantown Tennessee Democratic Club, representing voters and residents of East Shelby County, including Bartlett, Bolton, Collierville, Cordova, East Memphis, Germantown, Lakeland, Rosemark, Millington and unincorporated areas find no valid or truthful reason for delaying the implementation of the TVCA of 2008.

The Germantown Democratic Club members beseech and implore Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to veto HB0614.