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NY: Worries About E-Voting Persist As Primary Looms [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-17-10 11:42 AM
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NY: Worries About E-Voting Persist As Primary Looms
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Edited on Thu Jun-17-10 11:46 AM by Bill Bored


Worries About E-Voting Persist As Primary Looms

Twenty counties have raised concerns about the shift from lever machines to electronic voting devices, which the state is belatedly supposed to make for the upcoming statewide primary.

By Adam Klasfeld


Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010

Throughout New York State, county legislatures and election authorities have raised serious concerns about state and federal laws requiring them to replace lever machines with electronic systems before the September primaries.

The advocacy group Election Transparency Coalition has a map showing that over 20 counties that have passed resolutions or sent letters to the State Board of Elections opposing the transition. The election commissioners of Nassau County have filed a lawsuit to stop the transition to computerized machines on the grounds that the new machines are untested, faulty, owned by a corporate giant and prone to fraud.

In New York City, however, the major concern is that changing the machines properly is going to be too expensive for the Board of Elections to afford amid budget cuts. George Gonzalez, the deputy executive director of the New York City Board of Elections, last month told a state Assembly committee that state and federal legislation is forcing the city to switch voting machines without providing "adequate financial and human resources" to implement the change. During the upcoming September primaries, he said, the Board of Elections' funding crisis can put the rights of "4.4 million voters in the City of New York at great risk."

-snip-

The Nassau commissioners also raised doubts about the DS-200 voting machines in particular, claiming that they had a history of failure.

In an expert affidavit filed on Nassau's behalf, University of Connecticut Professor Alexander Schvartsman argued the computerized voting machines are not to be trusted even when they are certified properly. Schvartsman says that the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the agency that writes the federal voting system standards and advises the United States Election Assurance, argued that testing software-based voting systems "is from a practical perspective not possible."

-snip-

Since HAVA is a federal statute, the state Board of Elections has sought the assistance of two federal courts to prevent Nassau County's "interference" with its implementation of HAVA. The state effectively got the case moved from state court to federal courts in the Eastern District in Suffolk County and the Northern District in Albany.

-snip-

Nassau County has since challenged the Northern District case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. And the county just scored a legal victory in an Eastern District order remanding the case back to state court.

http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/4059/worries-ab...
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