February 02, 2005

Cong. Conyers and 22 other Representatives Have Asked the Congressional Research to Investigate Voting Irregularities

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., and twenty two other Members of Congress, sent the following letter to Daniel Mullhollan, Director of the Congressional Research Service, requesting a 50 state survey of all reported voting irregularities from the past election:

"Dear Mr. Mullhollan:

"We are writing to ask that the Congressional Research Service, (CRS) prepare a 50 state survey of irregularities reported by the media (including internet based media) and compiled by public interest groups, non-profits and academics in the most recent election. We believe that such a study will be a vital resource to Congress as we turn from the controversies of the most recent election to the complex issue of voting reform.

"Though our principal focus is on irregularities relating to the presidential election, we are also interested in learning of significant irregularities concerning other elected offices as well. We would ask that you review media reports involving irregularities and controversies in the pre-election day period (e.g, concerning registration, purging, determination of election day rules); election day (e.g., machine glitches, machine shortages, voter intimidation, ballot confusion, lack of handicapped accessible machinery, and voter misinformation); and post-election (e.g., counting provisional ballots, recount irregularities, litigation).

"We are not asking that you characterize these irregularities. Rather we simply want your staff to complete the research, access the results, and divide by state and by incident. Where possible it would be helpful if you could note how the incident or irregularity was resolved. For example, was an improper purging cured? Was the cause of a machine glitch ascertained? Was the person responsible for disseminating false information pursued, is a case pending?

"We are happy to work with you to develop the most efficacious means of narrowing this request, completing the research, determining the pertinent time periods to review and categories to analyze. We would note that the General Accounting Office is also reviewing the most recent election, however their review is far more narrowly focused on a small number of systemic issues. They are not attempting to survey the complete landscape of irregularities as we are requesting of CRS.

"We are also willing to work with you in developing an agreeable time line for completing this important survey, although we are hopeful that it can be completed in the next several months, so that it may be as helpful as possible to the Congress as we work on voting reform."


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