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By John Gideon, votersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA   
April 25, 2006

You have the right to fight back! Here's how…

 

Did you know that if your state took any funds from the federal government to purchase voting machines you have the legal right to file a complaint? And that you must be given a public hearing in the bargain if you ask for one?

According to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Section 402 any person who believes that there is a violation of any provision of HAVA Title III (including a violation which has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur) may file a complaint which must then be dealt with in 90 days time.

Title III of HAVA is the section that includes such things as the accessibility mandates of voting devices for disabled-voters, the ability to verify the votes selected by the voter on the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted, the requirement for warning voters of overvotes, audit capacity of voting systems, provisional voting, computerized statewide voter registration lists, and other issues.

Part of this right to file a complaint is the right to request, and be granted, an on-the-record public hearing of your complaint. This cannot be denied to you according to federal law.

Realizing that I had this right, I spoke with some attorneys who are working on voting technology issues and I was told that actions that I took by filing a complaint would not hurt their work in any way and it might be helpful as it will help to build a public paper record. I then composed my complaint, which is now posted at VoteTrustUSA in full, and filed it yesterday.

We'll see where it goes, but I wanted to mention this to BRAD BLOG readers who might consider doing the same thing. HAVA mandates that every state must create a process for such complaints to be filed by voters. Check with your Secretary of State's office to see what might be required in your state.

If "6 or 7" of us do this in each state, who knows what might come of it? Since all the states have different procedures, please feel free to share your experiences for others here in comments, along with any tips for filing in your own state as you may find them.

Feel free to use my complaint as a template if you like, or drop me an if you have any specific questions

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