State Legislators and County Officials Reiterate Democrats’ Failure to Address the “Most Serious Concerns” with H.R. 811

Sep 6, 2007

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) expressed their continued opposition to H.R. 811, election reform legislation introduced by Representative Rush Holt, D-N.J. Holt’s bill, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007, has been highly criticized by election experts and officials who describe the bill as an 11th hour attempt to mandate overly prescriptive election requirements that would be impossible for states to meet only 15 months before the 2008 Presidential Elections.


In response to what they characterize as “misrepresentations that have circulated on Capitol Hill,” regarding H.R. 811, NACo continued to assert their concerns with Holt’s “one-size-fits-all model.” In a letter dated September 5, 2007, to Congressman Rush Holt, NACo’s Executive Director, Larry Naake, states, “we would support federal legislation to ensure the accuracy and integrity of voting equipment and procedures and the transparency of audits and recounts as long as that legislation sets realistic standards and allows sufficient time, flexibility and funding for implementation. Unfortunately, H.R. 811 continues to fail in each respect.”


NCSL also reiterated their concerns in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. In her letter to House leadership, NCSL President Donna Stone not only expressed concerns with the “federal mandate of unknown proportions,” but also her dismay with the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. Stone states, “The process of drafting, vetting and including all relevant stakeholders, which includes the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and other state and local government groups, never took place, leaving this bill fraught with problems. The state impact of this bill was never considered, and compromises were made without including the state perspective.”


In addition to election officials from across the country, Members have heard from the Executive Board of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Standards Board, the Election Technology Council, and countless other organizations all opposing H.R. 811.


H.R. 811 is currently scheduled for consideration by the House on Friday, September 7, 2007. For more information, please contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.