Thursday, March 18, 2010
The 25th of March is fast approaching and with it comes the cutover deadline for legislation moving through our House of Representatives and our Senate. Among the bills that are stuck in committee and apparently doomed are HB 1257(Ballot Access) and HB 1215 (Optical Scan Ballots). We've covered HB 1257 in detail here at Bludgeon & Skewer and are preparing the sack cloth and ashes in anticipation that neither of the two pieces of legislation will clear their respective committees and get a floor vote.
Garland Favorito has sent out a request for input on his attempts to get HB 1215 clear of it's committee and onto the floor which appears below. HB 1215 is an attempt to provide an audit trail for votes cast in Georgia, which is something the citizens of this state haven't had since the Diebold DRE's were procured way back in the way back of Cathy Cox's reign as SecState. Time is short, please contact your Reps down at the house and tell them to get going on these important bills.
Last Chance for Voting Machine Bill Hearing
Next Thursday, March 25th is the cutover deadline for all bills to have passed at least one body of the General Assembly to be considered by the other. For any bill to get the floor of the Senate or House it must be reported favorably out of committee and then be selected by a Rules Committee member for a floor vote. HB1215 still has not had a hearing yet and there is only one week left. HB1215 faces an uphill battle because the Secretary of State has opposed it on the grounds that it requires an expenditure of funds that are not readily available. Since the office never quantified the savings that the bill would achieve, the leadership has no incentive to grant a hearing for the bill. Essentially they have placed a price tag on preserving the fundamental right of voting although no price tag existed in 2002 when they purchased $54 million of unverifiable voting equipment that essentially disenfranchised us.
Many of you may have already contacted the General Assembly based on my previous Email bulletins. If so, please reply to let me know what contacts you have made so that I can determine who is responsive to our needs. If not, you can still express your request for this bill to be heard to chairman Mark Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org. His assistant Pam Norwood can be reached at 404 656 5132. It would also be important to contact the office of House Speaker, David Ralston at 404 656-5020. His aides are email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com In addition, you can contact the members of the Governmental Affairs Committee below:
Mark Butler - Chair
John Meadows – Chair
Alisha Thomas Morgan
Mary Margaret Oliver
The committee contact information has, interestingly enough, been down for weeks but you can get their individual member contact information at:
To recap, the provisions of the HB1215 bill are:
· It eliminates Direct Recording Electronic voting in Georgia which currently has no means to be audited;
· It eliminates lever machine voting which has no means to produce a ballot;
· It provides for precinct level audits to verify that optical scan tabulations are correct;
· It requires recounts to be conducted by hand to ensure that original election results were correct;
· It defines a ballot as paper only so that it can be verified, audited and recounted properly;
· It provides a consistent means of voting for absentee and Election Day voters;
· It removes potentially unconstitutional language in the current Georgia Election Code;
A press release about the bill is on the home page of the www.voterga.org web site.
The official overview of the bill is located here:
The full text of the bill is:
Ga. Constitution Party
404 664-4044 CL
Posted by Shane Bruce at 8:46 AM