AAPD Urges Defeat of H.R. 811
WASHINGTON – In a letter to House Members, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) expressed their opposition to H.R. 811, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007, claiming that the proposed legislation would disenfranchise disabled voters and destabilize the nation’s existing election system.
In the letter dated September 4, 2007, the AAPD characterizes H.R. 811, election reform legislation introduced by Representative Rush Holt, D-N.J., as a bill that, “jeopardizes accessible voting and imposes unrealistic expectations on election administrators.”
As currently written, H.R. 811 requires that new accessible voting systems be in place by 2012. However, both the AAPD and the Election Technology Council (ETC) have notified Members that such technology does not exist, and that Congress should allow for additional industry research and development before mandating such requirements.
A recent analysis of H.R. 811 conducted by the ETC, a trade association that represents voting machine vendors that produce over 90% of voting systems employed in the United States, estimates that it would take approximately 54 months for successful implementation of the proposed legislation. In the analysis, the ETC notes that, “there needs to be more meaningful dialogue and supporting research in this area before it is made a statutory a requirement.”
The AAPD reaffirmed the concerns raised by the ETC in their letter stating, “Machines that meet these standards do not exist. We have been told by equipment manufacturers that it will take six years from the date of passage to develop and test new voting systems that meet these specifications.”
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