December 7th, 2009


A disagreement with Mike Capuano

Several years ago, when the country was plagued with touchscreen voting machines that made re-counts impossible and gave no way to verify that their counts weren't buggy, Representative Rush Holt (one of the few scientists in Congress) was pushing a bill that would've required these machines to at least produce a paper printout at the time votes were cast, that voters could look at. While he - and I - much preferred paper ballots instead of voting by touchscreen, he didn't think he could get that passed, while this seemed to have a chance, and was better than nothing. Holt's bill had about 150 cosponsors, including multiple Republicans (Holt is a Democrat), but my Representative, Mike Capuano (Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/Chelsea) was not on the list.

I called Capuano's office to ask, and they told me he opposed it. Why? They weren't sure, so they said they'd find out and call me back, and not long after, they did call me back to explain.
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Capuano's office thanked me for the call, and said they'd pass along everything I'd said to the Congressman.

Shortly after, Capuano co-sponsored Holt's bill.

I've had this story in the back of my mind for years, and am finally getting around to posting it now because Massachusetts is holding a special election tomorrow to elect a replacement for Ted Kennedy in the US Senate. Mike Capuano is running in tomorrow's Democratic primary, and I hope you'll vote for him. I've had several other interactions with him since this one, and he's changed my mind on a few things. I've found him to be effective, smart, progressive, great at constituent service, and great at his job in Congress, and I think he'd be a good replacement for Senator Kennedy. I hope that if you live in Massachusetts, you'll vote for him, and whether you do or not, you'll pass this on to people you know in Massachusetts.