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(NY) LETTER: Crime Against Democracy [View All]

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-23-11 03:30 PM
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(NY) LETTER: Crime Against Democracy
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Despite the Dutchess County Legislature (among many other NY county legislatures) passing a resolution stating they wish to keep levers; despite the Nassau County lawsuit that is in court; and despite it not being clear how school board and fire district elections will be administered, someone in the Dutchess County Board of Elections decided it was ok to toss lever machines.

More democracy fearing snakes in New York.

LETTER: Crime against democracy

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Without notice (even to county legislators), the lever voting machines which have been the cornerstone of fair, accurate and transparent elections for more than a century were quietly carted off and reduced to scrap metal. This is significant for at least three reasons:

First, there are at least a couple of lawsuits pending that seek to show that the Op-scan voting machines do not pass constitutional muster, that is, they cannot guarantee that votes will be counted in a manner that assures the integrity of an election. In discarding these machines while these lawsuits are pending and without notifying elected officials, the Dutchess County Board of Elections has acted arbitrarily and perhaps illegally.

Second, in going with Op-scan machines, we have effectively outsourced democracy, allowing private companies to determine how votes are counted, and introducing the profit motive into a process that should be controlled in an open, transparent manner by local government.

Third, in privatizing the voting process we have not only lost control of the voting process, but also the costs. The first batch of Op-scan machines was paid for by the federal government, but maintenance costs (which are exponentially higher than with lever machines) and the costs of buying new machines will fall on local taxpayers.


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