Under the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act, the federal government would help localities switch to paper ballots or attach printers to their electronic voting machines in time for the November elections. To overcome states’ rights objections, Holt crafted the bill as an opt-in: Nobody would be required to switch technologies or conduct audits, but federal funding would be available to offset costs for those who did.
So why did the Republicans fail to support a bill assisting in fair and verifiable elections? Because the Bush Administration came out in opposition to the bill, they said it was too expensive. The estimated cost of the bill, $680 million, is about what is being spent in Iraq every two days.
What this shows is that the accusations of fraud that marred the 2000 and 2004 elections will continue. Republicans show that they feel no responsibility to protect our the primary fabric of our democracy: free and fair elections.