Mr. Norbert Kubilus Chairman, Legislative Affairs Committee Association of Information Technology Professionals 3008 Guillemot Avenue North Las Vegas, Nevada 89084-3144
Dear Mr. Kubilus:
Thank you for contacting me about the need for election reform. I agree with you, and I appreciate hearing from you.
A fundamental premise of democracy is that every vote is counted. The 2000 and 2004 presidential elections revealed that it is more important than ever to ensure that elections are issued in a fair and standardized manner.
I believe that one important step in this process is to ensure that there is a verified paper voter record in order to maintain voter confidence. For this reason, I cosponsored the Voting Integrity and Verification Act (S. 330) introduced by Senator John Ensign on February 9, 2005. This bill would clarify Congressional intent with respect to the permanent paper record and voter verification provisions of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Each voting machine used for federal elections would be required to produce a voter verified permanent paper record.
In addition, I cosponsored the Democracy Begins at Home Act (S. 17) introduced by Senator Chris Dodd on January 24, 2005. This legislation would require states to have an early voting period of up to fifteen days prior to a federal election to enable more voters to have access to the polls. S. 17 would also establish a commission to investigate making election day into a national federal holiday.
In the 2004 election, Nevada was the only state in the union to provide voters with a paper verification of their vote. Additionally, there was also high voter turnout in Nevada as a result of our early voting initiative. I am pleased with the success Nevada experienced during this election. I am hopeful that in the future, all states will be able to implement similar procedures to increase the efficiency and accuracy of voting nationwide.
Please be assured that election reform is a priority for me in the 109th Congress. I look forward to working with my colleagues to find fair and effective ways to encourage voter participation, and ensure that every vote is counted.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. For more information about my work for Nevada, my role in the United States Senate Leadership, or to subscribe to regular e-mail updates on the issues that interest you, please visit my Web site at http://reid.senate.gov. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.