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BradBlog/Novick: The EAC Lied, Lever Voting Machines (Almost) Died

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-02-09 11:57 PM
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BradBlog/Novick: The EAC Lied, Lever Voting Machines (Almost) Died
Edited on Mon Mar-02-09 11:57 PM by Wilms

The EAC Lied, Lever Voting Machines (Almost) Died

The Discredited Position of the Discredited Election Assistance Commission Helps Keep New York on a Collision Course with Democracy

But it's not too late to save the last transparent electoral system in the United States...

Guest Blogged by Andi T. Novick, Esq.



New Yorkers are fighting to keep their current voting system, notwithstanding that New York's legislature passed a law in 2005 that says we should give up our observable, reliable levers in exchange for unreliable, concealed software-based vote counting machines. Nearly 1,800 New Yorkers have signed a petition, and three counties (Dutchess, Ulster, and Columbia, all PDFs), have passed resolutions to save New York's lever voting system.

The Association of Towns (half of New York's entire population lives in towns) recently passed a resolution to save the levers, and Nassau, Greene and other counties are presently considering similar action to retain New York's lever voting system.

Moreover, reliable sources have confirmed for me that neither the Governor nor the Attorney General nor the State Legislature that passed the "Election Reform and Modernization Act" (ERMA) want to replace the levers anymore either (what politician would want to be responsible for choosing to cut essential programs for hungry children or the elderly, just to be able to replace our superior and affordable voting system with budget-breaking computers that are notoriously corruptible and defective?). But the State Legislature has not repealed ERMA and the Attorney General, to date, has supported the State (not the citizens).


So what is driving New York State to stick with a law that so many in New York believe to be such a bad idea? As a New Yorker who has been talking to many election commissioners, legislators and citizens, I was surprised to learn how many people believe the "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) actually banned lever machines.


Although the agency is not a court of law, and not even an agency deserving of deference for its opinions --- its allegiance has clearly been shown to be not with either voters or democracy --- the "HAVA-banned-levers" rumor was given the imprimatur of the EAC through this little-noticed document...


As explained in the letter from Pennsylvania, because the state statute permitted lever machines, it needed the Federal statute to be construed in such a way that would render the levers illegal. Ignoring the clear language of HAVA, Pennsylvania urged that the Paper Audit Requirement of HAVA should be interpreted as banning levers in every circumstance, notwithstanding that the lever machines were expressly not prohibited by HAVA.


Although it is irrational to interpret one section of a statute as prohibiting levers under all circumstances, when another section of the statute explicitly includes them, Pennsylvania needed a way to proceed with its plan. And they received it.



Andrea Novick is the founder and legal counsel for the Re-Media Election Transparency Coalition. She will be testifying to the New York City Board of Elections this week in regard to her findings concerning the use of mechanized lever voting systems.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-03-09 03:15 PM
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1. PA activists should be on this like a cheap suit! So where are the K's and R's?
It's their state that got the EAC to try to kill the levers, which paved the way for their paperless DREs!

Now they need Holt to bail them out with HAVA II. Good luck and I mean that sincerely.

But had PA activists gone to the mat on this, we might all be a lot better off. Not that I'm blaming anyone -- but the least you can do is recommend the thread!

Thanks! :)
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-03-09 06:14 PM
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2. Lever machines are fine with me - I'd sure rather have them than our eSlates.
Anything can be hacked, but levers sure beat the paperless wonders.
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