NO. R-183.† Joint resolution urging Congress to amend the Help America Vote Act in order to assist small rural states and to remove those provisions which threaten personal privacy and fundamental civil liberties.


Offered by:† Senator Ayer of Addison County, Senator Bartlett of Lamoille County, Senator Bloomer of Rutland County, Senator Canns of Caledonia County, Senator Collins of Franklin County, Senator Condos of Chittenden County, Senator Cummings of Washington County, Senator Doyle of Washington County, Senator Dunne of Windsor County, Senator Gander of Windham County, Senator Gossens of Addison County, Senator Greenwood of Essex-Orleans County, Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans County, Senator Kittell of Franklin County, Senator Leddy of Chittenden County, Senator Lyons of Chittenden County, Senator MacDonald of Orange County, Senator Maynard of Rutland County, Senator Mayo of Caledonia County, Senator Miller of Chittenden County, Senator Mullin of Rutland County, Senator Munt of Chittenden County, Senator Scott of Washington County, Senator Sears of Bennington County, Senator Shepard of Bennington County, Senator Snelling of Chittenden County, Senator Welch of Windsor County and Senator White of Windham County.

Whereas, in response to the widely acknowledged administrative problems related to the 2000 presidential election, in 2002, Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and

Whereas, while the measure was intended as a national response to these† problems, it is apparent that HAVA was drafted without a clear understanding of the special problems associated with elections administration in small rural states such as Vermont, and

Whereas, while HAVA offers states financial support for new voting technology, it mandates requirements which invade the personal privacy of Vermonters and may well discourage new voters from registering to vote, and

Whereas, specifically, Sec. 303(a)(5) requires individuals registering to vote for the first time in a community to present a driverís license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number, or alternatively if the registrant lacks either of these numbers, directs the state to assign an individual voter identification number, and

Whereas, under Sec. 303(b), voters who have registered by mail and who have not previously voted in the jurisdiction must present, after the establishment of a computerized statewide checklist in the state, an official and current photo identification or ďa copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter,Ē and

Whereas, these federal mandates directing new voters to provide this personal information and identification are a significant invasion into an individual citizenís personal privacy and have never been required or deemed necessary in the administration of Vermontís system of voter registration and elections, and

Whereas, the development of fail safe voting must not be synonymous with an invasion of personal privacy or the development of a national identification system, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly strongly urges Congress to amend the Help America Vote Act to recognize the special problems associated with elections administration in small rural states and to remove those provisions which are a threat to personal privacy and fundamental civil liberties, and be it further

Resolved:† That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to each member of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.