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Dear Rep. Meehan:

Please do all you can to oppose the so-called “Voter Confidence” (Holt) Bill, HR-811.

The Holt Bill to reform election procedures and equipment in seriously flawed. It perpetuates secret machines counting in secret. It offers an inadequate but deceptively reassuring audit and paper trail mechanism as a solution to the threats introduced by that secrecy.

Citizens must control our elections in such a way that the dishonest politicians cannot cheat to stay in power. The secret vote counting that is an unavoidable feature of electronic voting completely denies citizens this power because it is readily possible to alter computer data without being detected, especially since the systems that do this electronic vote counting is all a secret according to purchase contracts. Under the Holt Bill vote-counting secrecy will soon be enforced for the first time by direct law, if anyone reveals the source code secrets. This secret vote counting, soon to be Holt-enforced by federal law, means that politicians who are willing to cheat can ensure their re-election.

This is a real threat to our democracy. The only real solution is voter-marked paper ballots counted in public with full public scrutiny. Anything else is an open invitation to massive fraud; sooner or later some dishonest person will succumb to that temptation.

(By the way, I am a professional computer consultant, working in the areas of computer security, human factors and software testing, with a graduate degree from MIT. I do have experience and authority in this area.)

Sincerely,

ROBERT J. FLEISCHER

Groton