Monday, November 30, 2009

State Moving Toward Certification of Concealed Vote-Counting Systems Even As Reports of Failures in November's Election Mount

The State Board of Elections is scheduled to certify several optical-scan electronic voting systems at their meeting in Albany on December 15. Yet as that day approaches, serious problems with the use of these systems in the November 3 election are emerging.

Most glaring so far are irregularities in the NY-23 special congressional election. NY-23 happens to be the home of Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D., nationally renowned election fraud investigator. His rapid investigation into the November 3 election reveals election results Phillips says are "impossible," including more votes than voters, negative totals, and the like. His early findings are published in two online articles, "Impossible Numbers in NY-23," and "First the Impossible, Now the Improbable in NY-23."

"Given the mess in CD-23, certification of the scanners at this point would be a travesty," testified Ulster Park's Susan Holland at the Monday hearing before the State Senate Standing Committee on Elections in Albany.

At least one election official, Dem-EC Virginia Martin of Columbia County, has testified that she would refuse to certify an election where she could not verify the count. With optical scan voting systems, vote counting takes place inside a computer where it cannot be seen by observers, candidates, or election officials.

"Voters may never again see a lever voting machine in a NY polling place, but that's not the biggest thing that would be missing from our elections," according to Andrea Novick, attorney and founder of the Election Transparency Coalition. "If the levers disappear, so do our voting rights, because we'll never again know if the votes have been counted accurately." ETC is preparing to file a lawsuit against the state of NY to have the new optical scan voting machines declared unconstitutional because they conceal vote counting from public view. Over 200 years of case law protecting the public's right to transparency in its vote-counting processes would be obliterated by the new voting system. "Even when optical scanners appear to be performing smoothly, there is absolutely no way to know that their secret software has not been corrupted."

The Association of Towns and 20 counties appealed to the State Legislature to repeal the Election Reform and Modernization Act, the law mandating the changeover from NY's current transparent voting system to the optical scan system, yet the State appears determined to certify the new machines apparently regardless of whether or not they are trustworthy.

Oppose Certification of Optical Scanners! Attend State BoE meeting 12/15 in Albany!

Let's fill the room and show the State Board of Elections that the public cares about our elections and insists on constitutional, transparent election systems.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
State Board of Election Offices
40 Steuben Street, 4th Floor
Albany, New York