Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mission Statement - Counting the Ballots in New York State

The Re-Media Election Transparency Coalition was formed in response to New York State’s committed direction of replacing its lever voting system with computerized voting systems in 2008 or 2009.

While any voting system is subject to illegal manipulation the mechanics of our existing lever machines and the procedural safeguards which have been put in place have served us well. Illegal tampering with a lever machine is rare and easily detectable and while it may call into question the results from a single machine the effect is minimal relative to the potential for undetectable wholesale fraud which is possible on a single electronic vote counting machine. Manipulation of either a Direct Record Electronic touchscreen machine (DRE) or Paper Ballot Optical Scan machine (PBOS) can alter the outcome of an entire election. That is, a single person can rig the results of the whole state!

The right to vote is the most important of the rights inherent to a self-governing society. All of our inalienable, civil and political rights rely on our ability to elect or abolish our government. Since the founding of the State of New York the right to vote and to have our votes counted has been protected by a myriad of safeguards that rely on public scrutiny and access to information to provide a check against the abuse of power and the means for the people to evaluate how the State carried out its responsibility to count our votes and protect the integrity of the franchise. All of that will end if the State proceeds with its plan to let computers count our votes.

Every other state in the nation has switched to some form of computerized voting on either DREs or OpScans and the results have been disastrous. It is still possible to prevent this catastrophe in New York State. Over the past year Re-media has engaged in a variety of activities to educate and alert citizens and public officials to both the dangers of the path we are on and alternatives to safer and simpler non-corporate controlled secret vote counting. These have included public forums, film screenings, writing articles to better inform the public, intervening by way of an amicus motion in the case of the US Department of Justice vs New York State, and email communications regarding articles and actions. The efforts have been time consuming and expensive. We are preparing to commence litigation against the state of New York to prevent the evisceration of two hundred years of an observable safeguarded electoral system.

We need both money to pursue the litigation (legal expenses including transcripts, filing fees, depositions, etc.) additional lawyers and volunteers who are willing to support our efforts through letter writing and by their physical presence in a courtroom.
Donations may be made to the Coalition at Velvet Revolution. To add your name to our list of supporters contact .