The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was an attempt to improve our nation's elections process. The HAVA law creates for the first time an entity, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), to support the development of uniform practices and procedures for domestic public elections. Several provisions of the law were designed to address problems identified during the 2000 general election. The establishment of the provisional ballots and creating accountability over how state election administrators conduct elections are two important achievements of HAVA. However, HAVA's Section 301 is seriously flawed because it only requires that the voting system only "produce a record with an audit capacity for [the] system" and not to reflect the intent of the voter. Because of this flaw in the HAVA law many states and localities have purchased direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines that do not provide a voter verified paper ballot.


  • HAVA should be amended to require a voter verified paper ballot to capture accurately each voter's intent for the purpose of determining the outcome of public elections.
  • Fully fund the research and development efforts to improve cryptographic methods and technology that ensure privacy, and prevent duplication, alteration, or removal of vote records used to determine the outcome of public elections.
  • Apply the relevant sections of the Voting Rights Act as amended to apply to all provisions of the HAVA law that relate to voter registration and voter participation to provide equal access to our nation's public election's process.
  • Prohibit the centralization of voter registration records until the security, reliability, and risks of identity theft, fraud, misuse, and abuse are reviewed and the resulting reports provided to the relevant House and Senate Committees and appropriate policy changes are made to guard against these threats.
  • As technical improvements to current voting technology are achieve and the results become, available the federal government should provide resources to the states to supplement the purchase of improved voting technology.