Contact: Ellen Theisen
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Election Integrity Leaders Say
Electronic Ballot Decision Rightfully Belongs to the People, Not Only Congress

Thursday, March 22, 2007. Leaders in four election integrity organizations have delivered an open letter to the Congressional leadership calling on the members to hold public hearings on the question: "Is democracy served by electronic ballots?"

Election reform bills introduced into Congress would continue to allow the use of electronic ballots but would require a voter-verified paper record for every ballot. Election integrity leaders are calling for citizen hearings before Congress votes on any of these bills.

"The decision about electronic ballots is unique among those that face us today," said Mary Ann Gould, co-author of the letter and host of a weekly radio program Voice of the Voters. "Since ballots are the voice of the people, the people must be consulted about this fundamental issue."

The open letter to Congress states:

"Our ballots are the heart of our democracy, and therefore, determining the form our ballots shall take is the proper business of all citizens. The decision cannot be at the sole discretion of the representatives those ballots are used to elect."

Pointing out that the United States was "founded on principles of open debate and discussion," the letter concludes with a request that Congress ensure that there are "televised hearings, in prime time, with public participation, including but not limited to testimony from many election integrity activists and voters who have cast electronic ballots."

"This is not Congressional business as usual," says Ellen Theisen, co-author of the letter and founder of VotersUnite.Org. "Deciding this core question about the reliability of electronic ballots may very well change the course of our democracy; and so our elected Congress must deliberate this issue in full cooperation with citizens."

The letter is here.