Last updated on: 3/3/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Dianne Feinstein Biography

Title:
U.S. Senator (D-CA)
Position:
Con to the question "Do Electronic Voting Machines Improve the Voting Process?"
Reasoning:

A draft report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology made public today reaffirms my belief that there are serious questions about the security and reliability of paperless electronic voting machines. It further demonstrates the importance of moving forward with new legislation to require that there be an independent paper record of every ballot… One-third of voters cast their ballots in the midterm election using new electronic voting machines, and problems arose, not only in Florida, but in various jurisdictions across the country. We must do everything we can to restore confidence in the outcomes of elections by helping to ensure that every vote cast by an American citizen is recorded accurately and that every eligible voter can, in fact, cast a ballot.

“Report Highlights Need for New Legislation to Reform Electronic Voting,” feinstein.senate.gov, Dec. 1, 2006

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to electronic voting machine issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to electronic voting machine issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • U.S. Senator for State of California, 1992-present
  • Announced plans to introduce the Ballot Integrity Act, including provisions for voter-verified paper audit trails, electronic voting machine security, and enforcement of the Help America Vote Act among other voting related issues, 2007
  • Called Senate hearings on whether the Help America Vote Act needs revisions, 2006
  • Chair – U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration (which oversees the Election Assistance Commission and all issues concerning the administration of Federal elections) and Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security of the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Member – U.S. Senate Committees on Judiciary; Appropriations; Energy and Natural Resources; and Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Mayor of San Francisco, 1978-1988
  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors, 1969-1978
Education:
  • BA, History, Stanford University, 1955
Other:
  • First woman to be elected Senator from California, mayor of San Francisco, and President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • First woman appointed to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee