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Safe Voting

Electionline.org has issued a new report examining the status of efforts to secure electronic voting — an issue that the new Election Assistance Commission will address at a public hearing this week. [IMGCAP(1)]

With growing concerns about hacking and manipulation, “Securing the Vote” found that lawmakers or chief election officials in 25 states are either considering bills or enacting rules to require electronic voting machines to produce ballots that can be manually recounted.

Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) and Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) have been pushing similar efforts on the federal level.

“The report confirmed what many had suspected, that the debate over voting security — especially electronic voting machines — is a nationwide issue that has been the focus of legislatures across the country,” Electionline.org Director Doug Chapin said in a statement.

Record Spending. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation has released its annual cost-accounting study, which computes a net annual agenda for each Member of Congress based on his or her sponsorship and co-sponsorship of legislation.

“Under GOP leadership, the lopsided ratio of spending increases to decreases has tipped dangerously of balance at a record 26.6 to 1,” a release accompanying the report concluded. “When Republicans first grasped power the ratio (nearly 9.6 to 1 in the 102nd Congress) became more balanced (1.4 to 1 in the 104th Congress).”

Both parties posted the highest spending totals ever recorded by NTUF’s BillTally, which has been computing these numbers since 1991.

The average House Democrat sponsored or co-sponsored bills that would increase spending by a net $401.6 billion annually — 13 times higher than the average Republican, who would increase spending by $30.7 billion.

The net annual agenda of the average Democrats weighed in at $174.1 billion — the highest level since the 103rd Congress — and the average Senate Republican net agenda reach an all-time record high at $26.1 billion.

Honoring Veterans. On the heals of the National World War II Memorial’s unveiling last week, Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) on Friday introduced a resolution recognizing all those Americans who worked to ensure victory in that conflict.

 In addition to celebrating the completion of the memorial, the resolution notes the contributions of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Frederick Smith, co-chairmen of the national effort to raise funds for the memorial, as well as efforts by actor Tom Hanks, the Advertising Council and the History Channel. — Amy Keller and Bree Hocking

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