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NEW YORK: Uncertified machines do not serve voters

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-25-09 09:19 PM
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NEW YORK: Uncertified machines do not serve voters
Edited on Thu Jun-25-09 09:50 PM by Bill Bored


http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=8137...

Uncertified machines do not serve voters

By VIRGINIA MARTIN
First published in print: Thursday, June 25, 2009


A sentence in the June 17 editorial, "Iranians' fight for democracy," sent a chill down my spine.

"...Iran's supreme leader ... has called for a limited recount."

Hold that thought. Something else -- that I literally shudder to connect to the above -- has been nagging at me for some weeks. It is this:

How many candidates running for office this fall know that the votes that will decide their fate will be counted by an uncertified computer program?

And how many of those candidates know that only a small fraction of those votes will be hand counted after the fact to see if that uncertified computer program (which also has not yet proved to be accurate, reliable or tamper-proof) worked as it was intended to and was not hacked into?

"A limited recount."

Across New York, 47 counties with 1.4 million registered voters will participate in a "pilot project" in which uncertified optical-scan voting machines, manufactured and programmed by Sequoia Voting Systems or Election Systems & Software, will count the votes.

-snip-

And the recounts of these votes?

They'll be limited.

Right now, and the regulations are now being considered, it appears that three percent of all machines will be subjected to a hand recount. Additionally recounted, and fortunately at 100 percent, will be any race in which there is a margin of one percent or less between candidates. (Think about that one. If Candidate A receives 51 percent and Candidate B receives 49 percent, there will be no full recount.)

-snip-

It's been suggested that any candidate will have the option of going to court to request a full recount. Yet that unfairly puts the onus on the candidate, who risks charges of sour grapes or of running up expenses to add to the taxpayers' tab.

-snip-

But Columbia County candidates and voters will be far better served. None of our races will require "limited recounts" because none will be counted by an optical scanner. Voters will select candidates using their choice of a lever machine or ballot-marking device.

That's because Commissioner Don Kline and I opted out of the optical-scan pilot project. We, along with the overwhelming majority of our custodians, inspectors, voters and county legislators, hope to continue using this voting system of lever machine with ballot-marking device, which meets all the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act, well into the future.

Virginia Martin is the Democratic commissioner of the Columbia County Board of Elections.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-25-09 09:36 PM
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1. k&r a thousand times!
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-25-09 11:33 PM
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2. An election commissioner wrote this!
Nice.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 01:22 AM
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4. Yeah, and a Democratic one at that! nt
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 12:10 AM
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3. I'm recommendation #4
and proud of it.
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 04:14 AM
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5. K&R!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 04:01 PM
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6. I thought New York LAW prohibited uncertified voting machines
and now we know that there are problems with the DS200 and the Sequoia Insight.

And these companies don't have their craptastic machines working right,
I have doubts that they CAN get them working right.

That is why some states require fede cert.


Also, North Carolina says it is a crime if vendors install or use uncertified
software in our state.

What about the law in NY????
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 10:04 PM
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7. NY State law provides for the SBoE conducting "experiments".


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 10:21 PM
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8. New York has sold out big time!
Edited on Fri Jun-26-09 10:21 PM by Bill Bored
The guinea pig tally is up to 1.4 million registered voters and the State Board of Elections has refused to require full hand counts, or even statistical audits. They have suggested that the Bush v. Gore approach of letting the courts decide our elections will be just fine. Candidates should just tell it to the judge.

Meanwhile, NY Election Law prohibits full recounts after election night. (On election night, you can have a recount at your precinct, but with the scanners there will be no way to know if it's required.)

Activists are divided between the pissed off (NYVV and the League of Women Voters), and the VERY PISSED OFF (everyone else)! (Well, everyone but the vendors I guess.)

We want our election laws enforced and to make sure ALL votes are counted as cast, even if the scanners aren't "certified." Instead, we're becoming the Florida of the North! :argh:
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 12:38 PM
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9. .
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-05-09 10:43 PM
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10. .
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-10 11:55 PM
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11. Kick for the "limited recounts" currently underway in New York.
Edited on Mon Nov-15-10 12:08 AM by Bill Bored
In 2010, the situation is even worse than in 2009. The machines have been certified, but the recounts are much more limited.

Now candidates have to go to court to get more than a 3% hand count -- no matter how close their contests appear to be -- and voters are being asked to PAY for that litigation and the recounts -- if the judges allow them!

All this was totally predictable (and predicted in the original post) and our elected and appointed officials didn't do a damn thing about it when they had the chance.

We may end up having to trust the computers. But either way, it's not up to the voters -- it's up to the courts. (Just as with Bush v. Gore.)
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