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Reply #10: You're missing the point. It's not about Lipari. Here's the deal: [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. You're missing the point. It's not about Lipari. Here's the deal:
New Yorkers have a right to know that their votes are being counted as cast and that the winners and losers of elections are as the voters intended.

You are correct that this problem is nationwide. Other states have quietly and willingly given away their constitutional rights long ago. But does that mean New Yorkers should too? No fucking way!

We are not as quiet here. That upsets some folks from other states (where perhaps there is something in the water or whatever), but New Yorkers don't give up without a fight. It's not how we were brought up or how we're wired.

Now, Lipari notwithstanding, the problem with paper ballot/op scan is that there is nothing in this new voting system, nor the NY election law that mandates it, to protect the voters' constitutional right to have their votes counted as cast -- that is -- there is nothing to require hand counts of enough of the original paper ballots to see if enough of the scanners counted correctly or not.

Not only does this unconstitutionally deprive voters of their rights, but it can also result in the wrong candidates being elected -- a LOT!

Since you mention "audits", which presumably are random hand counts, you may accept that computers make undetectable mistakes and can also be easily programmed to do so deliberately. But if that's the case, doesn't it make sense to "work for improvement of your audits and election procedures" BEFORE replacing the non-computerized machines with computerized ballot scanners?

Unfortunately this was not the policy of Lipari, NYVV, the LWV of NY, the NYS Legislature or most New York election officials. The solution you're proposing -- working for better audits -- has been tried repeatedly by others in the state, and has failed. In fact, audits are getting worse in NY -- not better -- because county election officials do not want to hand-count one more ballot than the law requires. The State Board of Elections has caved to the counties' wishes by gutting their own regulations that would have required somewhat more hand counting.

Almost all these election officials have virtually ignored the advice of advocates and experts when it comes to auditing elections. So what does that say about their willingness to verify election results?

The bottom line is: There is no interest in election verification among the powers that be in New York. They just want to trust the computers.

The one thing that might result in better audits of elections is lawsuits. Perhaps the very same one Lipari opposes. It's primary focus is to keep the lever voting machines rather than giving up the protection of our constitutional rights that they provide. But the reason for this is that the new system and the way it's being implemented in NY, as elsewhere, does NOT protect those rights.

As I'm sure you know, you have to take the good with the bad, so if getting better audits can only be achieved through litigation, and no one has the balls to sue for better audits, then the next best thing is to sue to keep the mostly unaudited computers from counting the votes in New York the first place. This should have been done years ago, but because NY had not yet met its HAVA obligation to provide accessible voting equipment for voters with disabilities, a lawsuit to protect the constitutional rights of ALL voters might have been premature. That accessibility mandate has now been met, so it's time to say enough is enough. We are HAVA-compliant now. End of story.

As far as HAVA itself, the statute bans neither lever machines nor hand counts. The only "forces that HAVA has unleashed" are the tools of the propagandists! And there are far too many New Yorkers willing to pick up those tools and use them to construct their bogus narratives about HAVA, levers, computerized vote counting, etc.

Hope this helps put things in perspective for you. It's not about Lipari; it's about our constitutional rights. And the courts will be the ones to decide all that.
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