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HAVA Doesn't Ban Lever Voting Machines

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-10 01:06 PM
Original message
HAVA Doesn't Ban Lever Voting Machines
From "Talk of the Sound" (New Rochelle, NY)

HAVA Doesn't Ban Lever Voting Machines
Submitted by eddie ajamian on Sun, 07/25/2010


http://www.newrochelletalk.com/content/did-you-know-abo...

The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) did not require "that Boards of Elections across New York State jettison the traditional mechanical lever machines." This is a common misinterpretation of the law. Here's the link to HAVA: http://www.justice.gov/crt/voting/hava/HAVA_2002.php

HAVA offers money for new machines to states that retire punch card and lever machines, but it does not ban them. HAVA does require that states make voting systems accessible to the disabled. All New York counties are in compliance with this through the deployment of at least one Ballot Marking Device at each poll site.

The view that HAVA requires lever retirement was recently refuted in court where US District Court Judge Joseph Bianco ruled that, "HAVA does not prescribe a particular type of voting machine nor does it have anything to say about any specific requirements on how New York
officials must carry out their duties." This Newsday article covered that:
http://walmartcommunityvotes.com/election-news/newsday-...
And here's Judge Bianco's decision.
http://sites.google.com/site/evoterproject/files/nc_v_n...

New York's Election Reform and Modernization Act (ERMA) does require levers to be retired, but the constitutionality of the law is being contested by Nassau County and its Board of Elections in State Supreme Court. See:
http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/07/23/29079.htm

-snip-

Unlike lever voting machines, ballot scanners allow overvoting. A lawsuit about that was reported on here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/nyregion/28vote.html?...
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NoNothing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-10 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. After thinking about it, I believe this would be the ideal system:
Edited on Mon Jul-26-10 01:50 PM by NoNothing
Electronic voting stations aid voters in casting votes without overvoting or unintentional undervoting. Using computers for this purpose provides the greatest degree of accessibility. However, these computers are completely disconnected from the tabulation process. Rather, these stations, once the voter has completed a ballot, print out a paper ballot exactly the same as the pre-printed optical scan ballots, except that the voters's selections are already filled in. The voter can then review the paper ballot, and, if there are no problems with it, walk it over to the optical scanner, where it is scanned and tabulated. There are numerous advantages to this system:

- There is a voter-verified physical paper record of the votes, in case a hand recount is necessary
- No danger of running out of ballot forms
- Electronic selection reduces errors and increases accessibility
- In case the computers malfunction, or voters dislike computers, ballots can be filled out by hand

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-10 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It's OK up to the point where:
"The voter can then review the paper ballot, and, if there are no problems with it, walk it over to the optical scanner, where it is scanned and tabulated."

At this point the system is no better than any other computerized electronic vote-counting system, unless there is a robust, statistical, risk-limiting, manual audit of the original paper ballots to see who really won every contest, or at least all federal and state contests.

Not a single state in the union conducts such an audit, and it's too onerous and complex for anyone to want to (although it's possible).

The answer to this problem, unless there are going to be 100% hand counts, is the lever voting system currently used in New York that includes the ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-10 01:03 AM
Response to Original message
2. Word is getting out.
Judge Bianco knocks it outta the park.
I can picture Douglas Kellner telling a glum Bo Lipari, "Well, I did say this could come up and bite us." :rofl:

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