Letter Asks Companies to Implement VR's "Divestiture for Democracy" Recommendations!...
States 'Strong Position' that HAVA Funds should be withheld from companies that don't meet standards!
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2005, 2:59pm PT  

Last week, in his endorsement of Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" Campaign, Congressman John Conyers, the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, said: "I applaud Velvet Revolution's actions and recommendations with regard to election machinery firms. I believe it is critical that we take every action we can to encourage these companies to help us restore our people's trust in our elections. I look forward to working with Velvet Revolution on this effort."

Today, Mr. Conyers kept his promise by joining with Congresswoman Maxine Waters in sending a letter to their congressional colleagues asking them to sign onto a letter to all nine of America's Voting Machine companies urging them to immediately implement the recommendations made by VR in the February 21, 2005 letter to the companies.

The letter to the companies, which they are asking colleagues to sign, restates the position that no government funding should be given to companies which do not voluntarily implement these standards!

From the Waters/Conyers letter to colleagues:

March 16, 2005

Dear Colleague:

As a result of HAVA, many states replaced their paper ballots with electronic voting machines. However, during the November 2004 Presidential election, there were a number of incidents that raised concerns about the performance, reliability and security of the voting machines.

The voting machine problems have spurred many members of Congress to take action and introduce legislation to enhance integrity of our electoral process. However, we believe the voting machine companies also have an independent moral obligation to take action to insure the existence of (1) verifiable paper ballots to enhance trust in vote tallies, (2) auditability of machines to enhance trust in voting technology, (3) non-partisan operation of election firms, (4) open and accessible software code.
Please join us in sending the attached letter to voting machine companies requesting that they implement these principles.

In their letter to the voting machine companies they state their position concerning the withholding of HAVA (Help America Vote Act) funding in no uncertain terms:

For the sake of our democracy, we believe you have a moral and patriotic duty to help eligible voters participate in and trust our electoral process. That is why we are urging you to adopt these common sense principles as expeditiously as possible.

It is our very strong position and belief that only firms that abide by these principles deserve funding under the Help America Vote Act. We will do everything in our power to see that non-complying firms do not receive such funding.

For the complete text of both the "Dear Colleague" letter and the letter to the Voting Machine Companies, please click here....

Earlier today, Green Party Presidential Candidate, David Cobb endorsed VR's DV4D Campaign with a letter sent to all nine companies, as well as a letter of support to VR.