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NY: Dutchess County Passes Resolution to Retain Lever Voting Machines

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:28 PM
Original message
NY: Dutchess County Passes Resolution to Retain Lever Voting Machines

Dutchess County Passes Resolution to Retain Lever Voting Machines

December 10, 2008

In a surprise move, at a regular monthly meeting otherwise largely devoted to the contentious 2009 budget proposals, the Dutchess County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution requesting that the State Legislature allow the county to retain its lever voting machines. The resolution had been introduced by Legislator David Kelly (R, Pawling,Beekman,East Fishkill) at the December 4th meeting of the Government Affairs and passed by unanimous consent out of committee. A similar resolution had been proposed to the entire legislature last month by Legislators Joel Tyner (D, Rhinbeck,Clinton) and Legislator Jim Doxsey (C, Town of Poughkeepsie) but had not been sent to committee.

In the past month members of the legislatively appointed Voting Integrity Task Force (VITF) of Dutchess County had twice addressed the legislature on the relationship of the anticipated adoption of op-scan voting system to the ballooning Board of Elections budget. The Dutchess County Election Commissioners had also sent a memorandum to the legislature outlining the growth in annual election costs attributable to the switch away from the lever machines to the op-scan technology.

~snip~

Full text of the resolution follows:

WHEREAS, for many decades Dutchess County has successfully used mechanical lever-style voting machines, with very few problems, and is desirous of continuing to do so, and

WHEREAS, New York State enacted the Election Reform and Modernization Act of 2005 (ERMA) and other laws that require all lever machines to be replaced and prohibit the use of any lever machines in any future elections in New York State, and

WHEREAS, Dutchess County believes that the continued used of lever-style voting machines is in the best interest of the public and should be permitted to be used in future elections, and

WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Legislature passed resolution #207026, requesting New York State to allow Dutchess County to continue the use of the lever voting machine, and

WHEREAS, the New York State legislation relating to voting machines far exceeds the federal requirements of HAVA (Help America Vote Act), and

WHEREAS, the State's statutorily required elimination of lever-style voting machines is unnecessary, inappropriate, and costly to Dutchess County taxpayers,
therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature hereby requests the New York State Legislature and the New York State Board of Elections to enact laws, rules, and regulations that specifically authorize the continued use of lever-style voting machines, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Governor David Paterson, New York State Senators Stephen Saland and Vincent Leibell, Members of the Assembly Greg Ball, Thomas Kirwan, Kevin Cahill, Joel Miller, and Marcus Molinaro, Member-elect of the Assembly Frank Skartados, Co-Executive Directors of the New York State Board of Elections Todd Valentine and Stanley Zalen, and New York State Board of Elections Commissioners James Walsh, Douglas Kellner, Evelyn Aquila, and Gregory Paterson.


http://re-mediaetc.blogspot.com/2008/12/dutchess-county...

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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:34 PM
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1. K&R! We don't need to spend money on electronic machines! nt
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:46 PM
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2. I"ll K&R # 4
see if we can dig up one more...
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Okay, you know it's coming: The Official Poster Girl of Duchess Cty Lever Machines...
Edited on Wed Dec-10-08 10:00 PM by MookieWilson
Heeere she isssss...

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Ah, my evening is complete! n/t
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Try this:
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Let's go Mets...uh...I mean LEVERS! nt
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Hey - let's have BOTH!!!!
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-11-08 06:48 AM
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8. Lever machines are also make for FIXED ELECTIONS.
They "shave" votes by shaving the cams on the back of the machine.

It drops votes, only for certain candidates. All it takes is for a group to know where the shaved levers are on each machine, and then in the name of random placement, put the candidates they want to defeat on those levers.

Paper ballots, counted by human hands.

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-11-08 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. A friend of mine is a mech engineer and he worked at polls where they were used...
and said that that would be very hard to do.

NOTHING is as good as paper ballots counted by hand. They were doing that in England until very recently.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-11-08 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. The hard to do just takes a little time and practice. /nt
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-11-08 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. ACTUALLY, IT TAKES A VILLAGE, OR MAYBE A WHOLE STATE!
Edited on Thu Dec-11-08 04:57 PM by Bill Bored
You wrote, "All it takes is for a group to know where the shaved levers are on each machine, and then in the name of random placement, put the candidates they want to defeat on those levers."

You obviously have no experience with lever-counted elections. In a state, ballot positions are determined by laws and that sort of thing -- not by random placement. And it's not levers that have to be shaved, it's gears. The levers and the gears can be INSPECTED to check for that sort of thing. In NY, they are.

Then there are things like individual locks and keys for each machine. Not the hotel mini bar keys that fit every DRE or optical scanner in the country. This makes it very time consuming to mess with a lever machine, and you can't just STUFF the ballot box.

If you think we can get HCPB in the Tammany Hall State of NY, go for it. Until then, there is only one other non-computerized vote counting system: the lever voting machine.

You have observers during the election, to make sure no one tampers with the machines or the ballot face. You have the public canvass of the lever machines on election night before they are moved from the polling place. That's when the HAVA-required permanent paper records are produced.

The only other system that produces a reliable count on election night is hand counted paper ballots. All the rest require post-election audits.

Unfortunately, no one wants to do the audits right, and they are often done so long after the election, that the ballots could have been tampered with many times over.

But in NY, we still have the 100% recanvass of the paper record from every precinct in the state that was produced on election night, to see if they STILL match what the lever machines said at that time, before the election is certified.

All in all, I think this is a pretty good voting system. No one else even comes close on a statewide level.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-08 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Wrong. It's easier to steal or stuff ballot boxes before the count
Edited on Fri Dec-12-08 10:35 PM by clear eye
in a state like NY where the polling places are open late and a hand count would have to be done the next day. The lever machines were designed in response to just that sort of shennanigans that was regularly taking place before the levers were introduced. The bosses were not at all happy with the then-new machines. It took reformers and public pressure to get them adopted.

And no, there is no such thing as random placement of candidates on voting machines--any voting machines.

No one manufactures lever machines anymore as something with 28,000 carefully machined parts is intrinsically expensive to build and has no where near the profit margin of the schlocky electronic units. They are also bulky and difficult to transport and store. So there is no possibility of introducing them into places that don't have them already. That is the reason why the rallying cry of election reformers in most of the country is "Hand-counted paper ballots! No machines!". Not because paper ballots are better than mechanical levers. They are simply not referring to mechanical lever machines, because everywhere but in NY and few places in CT they are not an option.

So please don't try to bully us NYers into giving up the safest voting system bar none. Especially in densely populated urban areas where the large amount of voters per polling place makes an election night count of paper ballots totally impractical. In the past I've given a few links to a technology professor who got a grant to spend a whole year studying the history, safety and reliability of the lever machines. He discovered to his surprise that they offered greater election integrity than all other methods including paper ballots.

If you need me to go into the archives and pull up that info again, I will.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-12-08 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. Wa-hoo!! n/t
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 01:03 AM
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14. .
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