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National Issues

Rep. Hoyer Urges Full Consideration Of HR 550 PDF  | Print |  Email
By U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer   
September 21, 2006

The following letter was delivered today by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), chairman of the Committee on House Administration. Rep. Ehlers has announced that a hearing will be held on September 28 entitled "Electronic Voting Machines: Verification, Security, and Paper Trails". The hearing is public and all citizens concerned about the integrity and transparency of America's elections are encouraged to attend if they are able. Rep. Hoyer's letter can be downloaded in PDF Fomat here.


I was pleased to learn earlier this month that the Committee on House Administration has scheduled a hearing next week to consider the important issue of voting machine security, particularly as it relates to electronic voting machines.

Troubling questions about the performance and reliability of electronic voting machines in various voting jurisdictions around the United States demand the serious attention of Congress. As a physicist dedicated to the pursuit of scientific truth who is intimately familiar with the workings of modern technology, you are uniquely qualified to lead a hearing on this important matter. Working in close conjunction with Ranking Democratic Member Millender-McDonald, who has emerged as a national voice on election issues since assuming her leadership role on house Administration in 2005, I have every confidence you will educate Americans about the strengths and weaknesses of electronic voting machines and propose sensible solutions for improving them.

As a principal cosponsor of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-252) (HAVA), I am dedicated to doing whatever I can, and will support any legislation that the House considers, that will strengthen the American people’s faith and confidence in the workings of their democracy. Although I have not officially cosponsored H.R. 550 “the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005,” I am deeply sympathetic with its aims and objectives.

H.R. 550, introduced by Rep. Rush Holt, is a thoughtful and important bill that deserves a fair and thorough hearing by House Administration. I strongly urge you to provide Rep. Holt with the forum he needs to explain the merits of H.R. 550 and how it can improve the performance of our democratic system.

As you may know, I urged Chairman Ney to hold extensive hearings on the implementation of HAVA and the performance of new election technology. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, these hearings were not held. Whether you or Rep. Millender-McDonald leads the House Administration Committee next January, I would hope that several hearings on the critically important matter of facilitating and protecting Americans’ right to vote would be held in the next six months.

I will talk with you and Rep. Millender-McDonald more about this important issue later this week.

Thank you for your attention and with kindest regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Steny H. Hoyer

Cc Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald
Hon. Rush Holt
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