John Gideon, Information Manager for Voters Unite, reports back from Day 1 of the two-day HR 550 lobbying blitz with (mostly) encouraging signs. And also, a few reminders that the merits of legislation alone rarely determines the final outcome.
Staffers for Representative Jim Leach (R-IA) rebuffed efforts to attach his name to the important bill as a co-signer, citing a long-standing policy of limiting such efforts to certain legislative subject areas and bills he authored.
Representative Dave Reichert's (R-WA) aides were generally supportive of the bill in conversations with Gideon, but admitted that it had not been a priority for Reichert and needed more information to be able to make an informed decision. Luckily, Gideon will be able to more than ably fill this request... along with Voters Unite Executive Director Ellen Theisen, Gideon maintains the most comprehensive and up-to-date collection of voting technology news in the country. In addition, Washington state has passed a paper trail bill of its own, and state legislators may be able to further convince Reichert that this policy approach is correct.
Finally, staffers for Representative Dave Walden (R-OR) were extremely enthusiastic and supportive and thought that the idea "made complete sense." Oregon, perhaps not coincidentally, is a vote-by-mail state that does not utilize the kinds of paperless touchscreen machines that prompted the call for this legislation.
Click here to tell your member of Congress to support HR 550!