I learned from the Iowa Voters blog that Steve King (IA-05) and Tom Latham (IA-04) were among the 85 percent of Republicans in the U.S. House who voted against New Jersey Democrat Rush Holt's bill encouraging verifiable elections on Tuesday.
For details on the bill, click here. Here's the gist:
H.R. 5036, as reported to the floor by the committee, would authorize funding to reimburse states with paperless jurisdictions that convert to paper-based voting systems in 2008 or provide emergency paper ballots that would be counted as regular ballots in the event of machine failure. The reimbursements would cover the cost of equipment conversion (from paperless touch screen machines to paper-based systems, such as optical scanners or computers with printers) and the cost of developing procedures for conducting hand-counted audits using independent, random selection of at least 2 percent of the precincts for audits under public observation.
Holt noted that two weeks ago, the House Administration Committee unanimously approved this bill. However, after the White House came out against the bill, 176 out of 203 Republicans fell in line.
At his blog, IowaVoter pointed out that the bill King and Latham voted against would have "re-imbursed Iowa for the expense of replacing our touchscreens." (Two weeks ago Governor Chet Culver signed a law requiring all Iowa counties to use optical scanners and paper ballots.)
But no, King and Latham would rather rubber-stamp the Bush administration's opposition to a bill that was voted unanimously out of committee.