Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) was signed into law in Oct. 2002. Amongst other things HAVA required the formation of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and provided some mandates, in Title III of the law, for federal elections including some standards for voting systems. Those standards include, but are not limited to, accessibility for voters with disabilities and accuracy in the vote count. Testing by experts in accessibility has shown that none of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems presently in use meet the requirements for accessibility for disabled voters. Failures in testing and vote counting in real elections have also proven that, at times, the voting systems presently being used across the country do not meet the federally mandated requirements for accuracy.
So what guidance has been provided by the EAC to the states with regards to Title III? Well, actually none. In fact even though voting systems presently in use do not meet federal law the EAC is just now getting around to issuing guidance to state and local election officials and, according to the draft of the plan ‘featured’ below, it is going to take another two years before the EAC can complete the guidance.
Why can’t they just tell the vendors and the states that the law is clear and, if they fail to follow that law, violations will be referred to the DoJ? The fact that the vendors misrepresent their products as being accessible is a clear violation of the law. It is time they are held responsible and it doesn’t take two years of studying Title III of HAVA to make that clear....