Recently I wrote of the need for an expansive agenda of Democracy promotion here at home to strengthen and repair our broken electoral system. The urgency of one critical element of that agenda was evident last week when 18,382 votes were lost by paperless voting machines in a Florida House race – a race won by just 368 votes.

Rep. Rush Holt has reintroduced H.R. 550 with 220 bipartisan co-sponsors to require that all electronic voting machines produce a voter-verified paper record. It would be nice, after all, to be able to count the votes in the event of mechanical failure.

While the Republican Congress held the bill up in committee, there is reason to hope that the new House will act aggressively to pass it. Common Cause is organizing an effort to urge the passage of similar legislation in the Senate. Act now to let your Senators know that you want a paper trail and voting machines that can be audited. With two years until the next national election, let’s not wait or leave this vital reform to chance.