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2009 Holt Bill

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Final text of H.R. 2894, Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2009.


March 18, 2009, draft of Rep. Holt's Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2009:


Brad Friedman / The Brad Blog, July 15, 2009: "New York Times fails to correct election bill endorsement; but Rep. Holt does so . . . sort of."

Nancy Tobi of Election Defense Alliance and Democracy for New Hampshire, interviewed by Joan Brunwasser,

July 12, 2009: "Exclusive Interview with Democracy Warrior, Nancy Tobi, Part 1."  

July 15, 2009: "Nancy Tobi Spells Out Exactly Why Holt Bill Is Bad News for Democracy."

July 18, 2009: "The Cult of Holt and More from Nancy Tobi."


Brad Friedman / The Brad Blog, July 1, 2009: "New York Times, Rep. Holt still misrepresenting contents of controversial election reform bill: A week later, the 'paper of record' fails to correct egregious 'paper ballots' error in endorsement editorial. Democratic Congressman's own website touts endorsement, repeats same fictitious information about bill...."


Bev Harris of, June 24, 2009: "Voting Rights Groups Oppose New Holt Bill." [Post includes] "the editorials from Black Box Voting, Open Voting Consortium,, and Nancy Tobi of Election Defense Alliance and Democracy for New Hampshire opposing and rebutting the latest incarnation of Holt's perpetually flawed proposal for election reform, currently known as "The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2009 (HR 2894) . . ."


Brad Friedman / The Brad Blog, June 23, 2009: "New York Times Wrong Again on 'E-Voting': Editorial Endorsing Rep. Holt's Election Bill Misleads, Gets Facts Wrong. The New York Times just doesn't get it. You'd think, by now, they would. But they don't. And they should print a correction immediately. In a brief, unbylined editorial yesterday [June 21], headlined 'How to Trust Electronic Voting,' the paper endorses this year's version of Rep. Rush Holt's election reform bill. The editorial is misleading and, even worse, blatantly (and inexcusably) inaccurate on at least one important point . . ."


June 17, 2009, press release: "Holt reintroduces Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act: Bill would require voter-verified paper ballot and random audits. . . ."


Verified Voting, June 17, 2009: " strongly supports this long-overdue measure to provide accessible and verifiable elections for federal office."


Voter Action, May 29, 2009: "Voter Action strongly endorses the Holt Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act, soon to be introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ). This bill will create a federal mandate for verifiable and accessible voting systems in federal elections with paper ballots marked by voters by hand or through the use of non-tabulating ballot marking devices. It will ensure that voters in every precinct across the United States are guaranteed the right in a federal election to cast their votes using paper ballots. It will require election audits for every federal election where the winning candidate receives less than 80 percent of the vote." 


Brad Friedman / The Brad Blog, March 31, 2009: "Holt's election reform bill edges away from disastrousness prior to introduction: 'Final' draft for introduction, committee process sees important improvement following criticism from Brad Blog last month; but substantive concerns still remain: a review of the good, the bad and the still ugly . . ."


Nancy Tobi of Democracy for New Hampshire and the NH Fair Elections Committee writes at "2009 Holt bill. E-voting: Making a bad system worse."

Paul Lehto writes at the PDA blog, "I’m an independent election law scholar and former election law attorney. On all the major reform “promises” of the Holt bill, I’ve 'been there – done that,' – and it’s nothing to be happy about or to work to nationalize as a model." [continued>>


Progressive Democrats of America held a "Clean, Fair, Transparent Elections Conference call/debate/discussion" on the Holt bill on March 24, 2009, with John Bonifaz of Voter Action in favor and Brad Friedman,, opposed. Hear the audio at Read the notes at

Ellen Theisen and John Gideon of Voters Unite have withdrawn their support. See


See Brad Friedman's coverage of the new Holt "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" at "New Version of Holt's Election Reform Bill Would Institutionalize Touch-Screen Voting, Secret Software. Bill 'improved' to require paper ballots, but they may be marked or printed by computer devices which offer most of the same dangers as current Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) devices... Additional concerns remain in the previously-defeated, newly-rewritten draft version of the landmark legislation..."


Rebecca Mercuri amplifies Brad Friedman's concerns about the new bill with these sentiments: "The lofty promises of paper ballots, recountable by hand, etc., would be irrevocably undermined by the fact that this bill, if enacted, would provide the FIRST FEDERAL LEGISLATION TO ALLOW FOR TRADE SECRECY in the systems that collect and count votes in US elections. Certainly, manufacturers of election equipment deserve protection of their intellectual property, and this already can be secured via copyrights and patents. But trade secrecy is antithetic to transparency, which is an essential part of the democratic process. DON'T LET YOURSELF BE FOOLED -- paper ballots and manual recounts can, have, and will be mandated WITHOUT the need for nondisclosure agreements and trade secrecy."


Dr. Mercuri was a guest on Voice of the Voters on March 7, 2007. In March 2009, Dr. Mercuri stated that her 2007 remarks still apply. A transcript of the interview is posted at


Bev Harris of via "New Holt Election Reform Bill Would Allow 'Surreptitious Dismantling of Self-Government'

Election Integrity expert Bev Harris compares 'secret software' provisions, 'persistent' e-voting proposals to process that allowed for 'Corporate Personhood'..."