Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

New Yorkers, SAVE YOUR LEVERS! (It’s NOT too late!)

Posted in voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 21, 2008

From Andi Novick:

Dear friends,
Thanks to all of you who have followed thru with letters to the SBoE.  We must be having some success because a pat response was prepared in order to respond to all of you, in which the SBoE erroneously stated that HAVA required we get rid of our levers. That’s not true. It is deeply disturbing that those entrusted with protecting the integrity of our elections and complying with the law don’t know how to read the law.
Section 301of HAVA sets forth 5 requirements that each voting system has to meet. NY has met all of them now that we have ballot marking devices (BMDs) in place. Indeed our own SBoE Commissioner Kellner testified in 2004 that: “Our lever machines satisfy all but one of [HAVA’S] standards, that there be at least one machine at each poll site that is ‘accessible for individuals with disabilities.
The accessibility standard has now been complied with. You will see a ballot marking device in every poll site when you go to the polls next month.
Maybe the SBoE needs to hire Pat Lamana of the Dutchess Peace Coalition, who is not an attorney but is able to read and understand English. Here’s what she wrote back to the SBoE:
Please allow me to differ.  HAVA does “not” require us to give up our lever machines as long as we make provisions for individuals with disabilities, which we have already done.  We are free to use lever machines, or the good old-fashioned hand-written, hand-counted ballots which are surprisingly efficient and the most reliable form of voting.  And it’s worth using the simplest, cheapest form of technology, if that’s what will preserve our democracy!  

Thank you,
Pat Lamanna


In a nutshell-  HAVA DOES NOT BAN LEVERS.  NY is hiding behind their unconstitutional legislation.
Let me tell you what’s really going on.  Let’s say your child’s school tells her she needs a calculator.  There is a perfectly good calculator at home, but she goes out and spends $500 on a new one.  You object to your money being wasted. Her defense is, the school said we had to buy this one.  The school didn’t say that and the calculator you have at home works well (although old, its proven highly reliable). What would a responsible parent do? Tell her she can keep the calculator, even though it immediately showed itself to be unreliable (miscalculating arbitrarily) or do you tell her to return it and use the one at home.
NYS took about $221 million dollars under HAVA of which roughly $48 million was to replace the levers. The State knows the levers are secure and the computers aren’t, but either doesn’t want to give back the $48 million or can’t read. HAVA says, if you take the money and don’t replace the levers, give back the portion of the money that was to replace the levers.  Now what would a responsible State do? 
It’s our money (all taxpayer dollars). Tell the State to give it back before they kill our democracy and cost us far more money -see yesterday’s Times Herald reporting that Ulster residents’ taxes will rise 4-5% just for the 2009 elections- for the privilege of voting on unreliable new voting machines-
Write back to the SBoE now-  — Keep the pressure on.
Let them know you’re paying attention and you know they’re wrong. Tell them to give back the $48 million and keep our levers now while we are still fortunate to have the only secure voting system left in the United States. Don’t permit the forfeiture of your sovereignty because of your government’s incompetent or unconstitutional behavior. Public elections require public observability-essential for our democracy to survive.  How dare they impose secret vote counting on us.  This is the time to be outraged and constructive.  If you remain passive, you’ll be left with your outrage and your servitude.
And if our efforts fail to persuade the State- well that’s why we’re bringing the lawsuit to have the court declare NYS’s (not HAVA’s mind you) requirement that we replace the levers, unconstitutional.
Your name will be listed shortly after you sign, so we know if you didn’t care enough to take a few minutes to prevent your disenfranchisement. Just kidding, but seriously if you don’t care, who will? Pass this on widely.
Re-Media Election Transparency Coalition
This is all of our responsibility. Please take the time to send copies of your letters to your:
—  local election commissioners – ,
 —  state representatives – for email addresses,
—  local media – – for media click on # 8 “media guide.” 
Let’s see if we can’t get them to respond to our letters too–Get the word out now while there’s time

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