Was President Behind Failure Of Holt Bill?

Update: More from Politico <read>. Billions for deficits and earmarks but nothing to provide voters confidence their choices were followed.

Larry Norden, director of the voting technology project at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school, called the vote “a sad statement on how little Congress has done on the issue of making sure elections are as secure and reliable as possible.”

Update: Added prospective on cost from Huffington Post <read>

“It all depends what you compare it to,” said [Princeton Professor Ed] Felten. “If you compare the amount of money we spend actually administering the election versus the amount that’s spent trying to convince people to vote this way or that way, it looks pretty small. It you compare it against the importance of getting the outcome right, it also looks relatively small. So, to me, it’s an investment that we should be willing to make.”

Article from Rush Holt’s state, New Jersey: Vote-count bill’s rebuff doesn’t add up <read>

You wouldn’t think anyone would be opposed to voting machines that can, if necessary, verify their precise ballot totals at the end of Election Day…”
It came out of committee two weeks ago unanimously supported by both parties,” Holt says over the phone. “We had compromised so there would be strong support when it came to the floor.”
So confident was House leader ship that it waived the usual voting procedure of requiring a simple majority and sought a two-thirds “super majority.”
That, explains Holt, would have demonstrated to the Senate and the White House that HR5036, otherwise known as the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act, had veto-proof support.

But on the day of the vote, something beat it to the House floor: the Bush administration’s objections.
Bush did not specifically threaten a veto, but he made it clear he didn’t like the bill, which was enough for most of its Republican supporters to bail out.

The bill passed, 239-178. But that was way short of the super majority, which tells the White House that the House doesn’t have the votes to override a veto.

more on the Holt bill <read>


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