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Help America Vote Act (HAVA)

Pew's Examines First Five Years of the Help America Vote Act PDF  | Print |  Email
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
November 30, 2007

Five Years After Federal Reform, American Election System Substantially Different but Improvements Unclear

Download electionline's report " HAVA at 5"


A new report from finds that in the five years since President George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) into law, election administration in this country has undergone profound change but has not necessarily raised the confidence of the American public. Enacted in 2002 to address the problems revealed by the disputed 2000 presidential vote, HAVA is Congress' largest investment in election reform. The Act devoted $4 billion in federal funds to replace punch card voting machines, develop state voter registration databases and establish the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

"HAVA undoubtedly brought the change to American elections that many sought after the 2000 election," said Doug Chapin, director of Pew's "But the public's lingering concerns over electronic voting, partisan disputes over voter ID and other issues continue to plague America's election system."

Marking the legislation's fifth anniversary,, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts' Center on the States, reviews the successes and limitations of HAVA to date.

Washington HAVA Complaint Against Certification Of Sequoia Edge I and II with Audio Box 5.0 PDF  | Print |  Email
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
By John Gideon, and VoteTrustUSA   
June 26, 2006
The following is an example of a HAVA complaint that has been filed with the Washington Secretary of State. Washington state laws mentioned in the complaint are different from other states laws. This is meant as an example only. While all states are required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to provide a complaint process the states may have differing rules on how to regulate the process. Section 402 of HAVA gives specific mandates on how the process must be handled by the state and voters. All complaints must be sworn to, signed, and notarized prior to sending to the state. The complainant also has the right to a hearing on the complaint if they so choose.



Address etc.


A.     Summary of Complaint - I allege that the Sequoia AVC Edge I and Edge II voting system (N-1-07-22-22-001) as certified by the Secretary of State of Washington on April 10, 2006 fails to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), Section 301(a)(1)(B) and 301(a)(3). I ask that this system be decertified or conditionally certified so that it cannot be used as a voting system to meet the accessibility mandates of HAVA.

B.     This complaint is made pursuant to Section 402(a)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), P.L. 1070252 and Washington Administrative Code, Chapter 434-263. Briefly, these sections say, " Any person who believes that there is a violation of any provision of Title III, including a violation which has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, by any state or local election official may file a complaint with the secretary under this chapter." Also, pursuant to Section 402(a)(2) I request that a public hearing, on the record, be conducted on this matter.

C.     Legal Authority Governing Voting System Certification – The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates in Section 301(a)(1)(B)(i) and (ii) that each voting system used in an election for Federal office shall meet the following requirements: In general - the voting system (including any lever voting system, optical scanning voting system, or direct recording electronic system) shall—
            (i) permit the voter to verify (in a private and independent manner) the votes selected by the voter on the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted;
            (ii) provide the voter with the opportunity (in a private and independent manner) to change the ballot or correct any error before the ballot is cast and counted (including the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct any error)
Cashing In On Chaos? PDF  | Print |  Email
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
By Warren Stewart & Ellen Theisen, VoteTrustUSA   
August 07, 2005
At the end of July, California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson announced his decision to require voting machine manufacturers to certify that their systems meet federal guidelines. He said he wanted to ensure that voters don't get "stuck with a lemon." In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, Sequoia Voting Systems’ vice president Alfie Charles is quoted as responding "if there are interpretations of the accessibility requirements or different mandates from the federal government at a later date, it would be difficult for the state to require companies to bear that cost.” McPherson’s directive and Charles’ response give us a hint of the battle that lies ahead.

The implications of Charles’ response are chilling. Are voting machine manufacturers taking advantage of the confusion over voting system standards in order to reap yet another taxpayer-funded windfall? The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) has already channeled billions of dollars into the coffers of the vendors as states and counties scramble to upgrade voting systems before the Federal funding deadline of January 1, 2006. This money is being paid to the states and handed on to vendors even though the federal government has not get provided a definitive statement of what standards must be met in order for a voting system to qualify for HAVA funding.

To repeat: there are still no standards governing the disbursement of funds, but billions of dollars have already been disbursed anyway.
The New EAC Advisory and What It Means PDF  | Print |  Email
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
Contributed by By John Gideon, www.VotersUnite.Org and www.VoteTrustUSA.Org   
July 21, 2005
EAC Advisory 2005-004: How to determine if a voting system is compliant with Section 301(a) – a gap analysis between 2002 Voting System Standards and the requirements of Section 301(a)
During recent public forums, the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) has been hearing from state officials, and others, that there is confusion over the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) Section 301(a). Section 301(a) sets forth the requirements that must be met by voting systems. Due to those concerns the EAC has published an advisory that explains more fully the requirements of Section 301(a).
The following is a discussion of that advisory. It must be noted that the author is not an attorney and any discussion of the legal aspects of the advisory are only the author’s opinion. For the reader’s convenience the author has incorporated into this document the contents from many of the references included in the advisory.

It is clear from this advisory that the 2002 Voluntary Voting Systems Standards are the only standards recognized by the EAC. Nowhere are the 1990 standards even mentioned. Yet almost all presently NASED qualified voting systems, including most of those qualified in the past two years, are only qualified to the 1990 standards.
Is HAVA Being Abused? Part 2 PDF  | Print |  Email
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
By Ellen Theisen,   
June 02, 2005
Good for the Goose; Why Not for the Gander? 
In spite of the federal government's repeated failures to meet statutory deadlines imposed by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the U.S. Department of Justice has declared that the States must meet their HAVA deadlines, even without the HAVA-mandated research and guidance intended to help the States comply with HAVA wisely.

HAVA requires the Federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to develop guidance on voting systems standards by January 1, 2004. The standards were intended to guide the States as they upgraded their election equipment to meet the HAVA Section 301 requirements by the January 1, 2006 deadline.
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Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
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