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NY: Nassau sues to block use of optical-scan vote machines

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:50 AM
Original message
NY: Nassau sues to block use of optical-scan vote machines
Edited on Thu Mar-25-10 03:05 AM by Bill Bored
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/nassau-sues-t...

Newsday

March 24, 2010 By RICK BRAND

Raising the specter of Boss Tweed-era ballot fixing, top Nassau elections officials have filed a lawsuit against the state to block the use of new optical scan voting machines, claiming they are "vulnerable to tampering" and "widespread . . . fraud."

Commissioners John DeGrace, a Republican, and William Biamonte, a Democrat, filed suit in state Supreme Court in Mineola Tuesday, saying the state law requiring use of the new machines violates the state constitution. County officials also say they cannot have new machines ready until 2011.

In court papers, County Attorney John Ciampoli said the law jeopardizes state elections by "disregarding highly regarded lever machines" used for nearly a century "and substituting computerized voting technology that is notoriously vulnerable to systematic hacking, tampering, manipulation and malfunction."

The suit contends that required use of optical scan machines is unconstitutional because it could disenfranchise voters, place the secret ballot in jeopardy and put bipartisan counting of ballots "into the hands of third-party software engineers."

-snip-

John Conklin, state elections board spokesman in Albany, and the U.S. Justice Department, declined to comment.

-snip-

Suffolk County also sued but without success. "We strongly support their intent," said Dan Aug, a spokesman for County Executive Steve Levy.

-snip-

"The counties are where the rubber meets the road," Biamonte said. "And the timeline the state agreed to is absolutely ridiculous."

See: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
for excerpts from the complaint (not that I'm complaining!).
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. But isn't the lever ban mandated by the hideous HAVA?
Which would mean that the counties can no more win their suits than the AGs filing against health care insurance mandates?
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. HAVA doesn't require it unless you take the money to do so.
These counties have done so. Giving the money back might be an option. But no. HAVA doesn't require replacing levers or even punch cards.

ERMA, part of NY State election law, does ban levers, however. That's why Nassau County is suing the State of NY.

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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Thank you! Then the bastards have no excuse.
Give back my levers!
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. If you're in NY
I'd suggest you try calling your county and making sure they don't plan on getting rid of the lever machines. Find out what their plans are. If you get any good info, please PM me about it, OK?
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MichellesBFF Donating Member (313 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm so proud of my county of origin!
I wish the county that I live in was as blue as Nassau. (Saratoga)
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well actually, this is a bipartisan effort and Nassau just went Repub again.
Edited on Thu Mar-25-10 10:33 AM by Bill Bored
I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the Blue vs. Red thing. This is about vote counting and it affects everyone.

Even the Repubs don't want to give up their constitutional rights to free and fair elections.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Abolutely. n/t
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