Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Election reform hearings ahead

With the Democrats taking over Congress, electronic voting is going to get some much needed scrutiny. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) will chair the Rules and Administration Committee which has jurisdiction over how federal elections are conducted. The San Jose Mercury News states that an aide to Feinstein confirmed that wide ranging hearings will be taking place.

A network of computer scientists and voting advocates have pushed for better security and transparency since Congress passed the Help America Vote Act in 2002 in response to the 2000 crisis. That legislation provided federal money to upgrade systems, but did not require a paper trail.

Many of those critics say new touch-screen systems are not dependable, and are focusing on what may be the most serious controversy of the election, a possible software failure in a congressional race in Florida.

In that election, almost 18,000 people in Sarasota County who voted in various races did not vote in the hotly contested congressional contest between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings. That rate of 15 percent "no votes" was four to five times higher than the rate in surrounding counties.


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