PRODUCER REBECCA ABRAHAMS WRITES —
"This morning on GMA we highlighted some of the problems with electronic voting machines – including the lack of paper trail verification. Diane Sawyer said that she understands that ‘Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is key to all of this, to a national voting standard. We’re going to be calling him … because you gotta have faith in our voting mechanisms.’"
"Diane is right. Here’s why:
"In 2003 Congressman Rush Holt, a Democrat from New Jesey, submitted a bill that would mandate a paper audit for each vote cast by an electronic machine, much like one gets from an ATM. This bill had over 200 co-sponsors, from both parties. On the Senate side bipartisan legislation was also introduced.
"But these reform measures met with a wall of resistance from top congressional leaders. A ‘ Dear Colleague’ letter (YOU CAN READ IT HERE — http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=713&Itemid=990) was written in March 2004 by the Number #2 Repbulican in the Senate, Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — as well as since-indicted Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), along with Democrats Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep Steny Hoyer of Maryland — and sent to every member of the House and Senate, urging them to vote against paper trails and leave the electronic voting machines as they were. The letter arugued that mandating any sort of paper trail would ‘undermine essential HAVA ‘ — Help America Vote Act, the 2002 election reform law –’provisions, such the disability and language minority access requirments, and could result in more, rather than less, voter disenfranchisement and error. ‘
"ABC Radio contacted Senator Mitch McConnell’s office four times over the past few months to get a fuller explanation of this language but none of our requests were honored by Senator McConnell.
"According to a recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice, if voter verified paper trails aren’t backed up by routine, random audits, then any vote tampering could go undetected if a sample of the printed receipts are not compared to the final count.
"The way to go, experts say, is with a real paper ballot that is optically scanned. "
– REBECCA ABRAHAMS