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Republicans refuse to caucus unless DRE touchscreen is approved as a ballot marking device

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The New York State Board of Elections (NYS BOE) was expected to approve a paper ballot marking device today, which would put New York on a sensible path to a statewide voting system based on paper ballots counted on scanners. Instead they refused to meet.

There was no quorum because Republican commissioners refused to caucus with the Democrat (Doug Kellner) unless he agreed to approve the Liberty DRE as a ballot marking device. He refused because reports show the Liberty DRE (computerized voting machine) is not acceptable as a ballot marking device for people with special needs because "the Liberty DRE provides no usable mechanism for independent verification." among other problems.

Of the four members, one of the two Democratic State Commissioners, Eleanor Aquila, was in the hospital with quadruple bypass surgery. One of the two Republican Commissioners resigned and was immediately replaced with Todd Valentine, counsel to the Board.

The Brennan Center and others have threatened to sue the NYS BOE if a DRE is chosen as a ballot marking device.

Meantime, Judge Sharpe has threatened the NYS BOE with jail time if they don't certify something this week.

STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS
40 STEUBEN STREET

Republican
Neil W. Kelleher -resigned, now Todd Valentine
Co-Chair
Helena Moses Donohue
Commissioner

Democratic
Douglas A. Kellner
Co-Chair
Evelyn J. Aquila
Commissioner

Frustrated? Call Gov Spitzer and tell him to stop this nonsense. New York must have a statewide voting system based on paper ballots, counted on precinct based scanners where needed.

Governor Elliot Spitzer
Executive Chamber
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
Phone: 518-474-8390
Fax: 518- 474-1513

....................................................................

It’s all about the benjamins
January 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm by Irene Jay Liu

It appears that the reason for the hold-up at the BOE meeting is because the Republicans want a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) made by Liberty to be approved.

Democratic appointee Douglas A. Kellner is being pressured to approve the system, but he said “I will not vote for a DRE.”

Voting integrity advocates, including the NY League of Women Voters, have raised deep concerns over the the DRE technology. California State purchased DRE voting machinese with its federal dollars, but discontinued their use after problems surfaced.

Todd Valentine, the newly appointed co-executive director (Republican appointee) offered a deal to Kellner. In short, the Republicans will make quorum for the vote, if Kellner agrees to accept Liberty, according to Kellner.

Kellner declined the offer. He is currently up in his hotel room, waiting until the Republicans are ready to meet.

The Republican board members and staff are currently caucusing in a room adjacent to the main meeting space.

...............................
NYVV.org
Initial Analysis of Problems with LibertyVote Accessibility Features
NYS Lot 2 (BMD) Submissions to SBOE
Machines delivered to SBOE as of 1/17/08
By Bo Lipari
League of Women Voters of New York State Representative
Citizens Election Modernization Advisory Committee
January 22, 2008
........................
Problem 3 – Independent Verification

After the voter has located and retrieved the VVPAT, (possibly from the floor), they must place the VVPAT on some
solid surface (presumably a clipboard), take up a digital pen which must be connected to the voters’ earphones
(requiring the voter to unplug earphones from the DRE and plug them into the pen), and run the digital pen over
each line of the VVPAT, one at a time. The digital pen audio reads the characters on the VVPAT and reads them
back via the earphones.

This solution proved unworkable, even for those of us testing the machine who were not disabled. It is nearly
impossible to run the pen precisely over each line of the VVPAT, even when it can be seen. Even if it could be done
for one or two races, it was nearly impossible to verify the entire VVPAT.

This solution is unusable for almost any voter with visual disabilities, mobility impairments, cognitive disabilities,
and many others. The Liberty DRE provides no usable mechanism for independent verification.

The LibertyVote submission is unsuitable for almost any voter with visual disabilities or mobility i
mpairment. In light of the fact that this device provides no usable mechanism for independent verification, it is should not be used
as a ballot marking device.

The lack of an ability for a voter to independently verify the contents of the ballot violates New York State Election
Law Section 7-202(1)(e) and HAVA Section 301.


Allegra Dengler
Citizens for Voting Integrity
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522


"WARNING: YOUR VOTE MAY BE LOST, DESTROYED, MISCOUNTED, WRONGLY ATTRIBUTED OR HACKED." New York Times Magazine cover story on voting machines, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008


 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Call Gov. Spitzer to approve system based on paper ballots

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Allegra Dengler is a voting activist in New York State.

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