via truthout.org (which, like everybody in the left blogosphere else is soliciting for donations):
Overhaul Plan for Vote System Will Be Delayed
By Christopher Drew, The New York Times, Friday 20 July 2007
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are slowing their drive to revamp the nation's voting systems, aides said yesterday.You betchum, Red Ryder!!!
Under pressure from state and local officials, as well as from lobbyists for the disabled, House leaders now advocate putting off the most sweeping changes until 2012, four years later than planned.
Overhauling voting systems before next year's presidential election had once been a top Democratic priority, primarily to allow greater accountability and be certain that all votes registered on computerized touch-screen systems were counted. But state and local elections officials told Congress they could not make the changes in time for the balloting in November 2008, particularly in light of the extra workload involved in preparing for next year's much-earlier presidential primary season.
Confronted by similar concerns, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, said she had already decided against seeking any major changes in voting equipment before 2010.
"My sense is there's no way to get this thing in place by the election of 2008," Ms. Feinstein said. "Without adequate time, we could cause real problems in the election."
Senate Democrats say that stretching out the timetable could increase their chances to win enough Republican support to put the changes into law.
House Democratic officials say they are now working on compromise legislation that could allow hundreds of counties in 20 states to simply add tiny, cash-register-style printers to their touch-screen machines for the 2008 and 2010 elections, while waiting for manufacturers to develop better technology by 2012.
House officials said the compromise would ensure that all voting machines nationwide would have some kind of paper trail in 2008 through which voters could verify that their ballots were properly recorded and that could be used in recounts. Under the plan, New York, which has delayed replacing its old lever machines, would be the only state that would have to change its entire voting system by November 2008.