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The Department of Justice v. New York State v. The Citizens of New York

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Where Are the People and Who Are Elections for Anyway?

The Federal Government's problem: The Orwellian-named Help America Vote Act (HAVA) aims for every state to use computerized voting systems which have been repeatedly shown to be vulnerable-to-hacking and hence deprive the electorate of their once constitutionally protected right to vote. New York is the last state to have submitted to federal government's plan, having not yet switched from its lever machines to a manipulable computerized system. The Department of Justice (DOJ) needs to be able to control NY now that its looking more and more like a battleground state with Clinton and Giuliani going head to head. This past Election Day the DOJ moved in federal court to force New York to get with the plan and be HAVA-compliant for the 2008 election.

New York State Government's problem: The State Board of Elections (SBOE), the Legislators, the Governor, the Attorney General (AG), the county election commissioners, etc. also want New Yorkers to vote on vulnerable-to-hacking electronic voting computers programmed by private vendors using secret proprietary software: they just want the computers to be certified for use by New York - which is not possible because there are no machines on the market which can or should pass testing certification: THERE ARE NO COMPUTERIZED VOTING SYSTEMS WHICH AREN'T CAPABLE OF BEING RIGGED WITHOUT DETECTION: NOT TOUCH-SCREEN DREs AND NOT OPTICAL SCANNERS. New York State has passed laws which require that voting machines comply with some stringent technological requirements and further requires that the voting vendors, who program their machines to process and count our votes in secret, let a few members of state government in on the secret --so long as they agree to never tell the people how the private corporations are secretly counting our votes.

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New York State government believes, incorrectly, that by testing these machines and being allowed to look at the secret source coding, it can provide New Yorkers with a reliable, secure electoral system, albeit not very transparent to the citizens so how would we know just how reliable this system is. No matter how much of our taxpayer's dollars they spend on testing, the irrefutable fact remains: THERE ARE NO COMPUTERIZED VOTING SYSTEMS WHICH AREN'T CAPABLE OF BEING RIGGED WITHOUT DETECTION: NOT TOUCH-SCREEN DREs AND NOT OPTICAL SCANNERS. How do we know? These are the findings of the Secretary of State (SOS) of California California: http://tinyurl.com/yv7aaj. There's also Florida: http://tinyurl.com/2xkzd4 & Connecticut: http://tinyurl.com/3ycu47 in the past year and for a compilation of prior studies see: http://tinyurl.com/2gwlve

The rub: NY took $50 million dollars from the feds to fork over to the voting vendors as partial payment towards their corruptible voting systems. The DOJ has said now that in order for New York to be HAVA-compliant by 2008, the state should take the money it was given to turn over to the vendors and purchase any old computerized voting machine sold by the handful of irresponsible vendors peddling their corruptible defective product, by-passing NY's testing certification laws. In addition Microsoft, whose product the vendors rely on, won't let even a couple of guys in the government in on the big secret, insisting that the State by-pass its laws and accept the secret vote counting by the corporations. The DOJ said-- sounds good to them-- so NY forget your wanting to look at what Microsoft doesn't want you to look at.

The DOJ's position in the motion papers filed this week is extremely honest for an agency that has perverted any notion of voting rights. They say in essence: NY be HAVA-compliant in time for 2008, which to them means buy machines that are defective and vulnerable-to-hacking, and cave to Microsoft: after all you don't really need to know how the vendors are counting the people's votes and besides- it's not like the people are ever going to know the truth because no one is allowed to tell them!

Secret vote counting by the corporations or the government is still secret vote counting, as far as the people are concerned. The feds just want to make sure the vote counting remains concealed from the people and that the machines we are forced to vote on can be manipulated.

The solution: New York can become HAVA-compliant for the 2008 election and not ignore its laws by getting ready to hand count the federal races. The federal government doesn't have control over the state elections so we can still use our levers for the state elections or we can hand count those races too. New York needs to provide an accessible means for all members of our community to vote independently and can do this by supplying ballot marking devices (BMDs) in the polling places. The paper ballots produced with the assistance of the BMD can be hand counted along with everyone else's paper ballots. Between the BMDs and the hand-counted paper ballots- New York will be HAVA-compliant, ready to have secure, reliable, transparent elections for 2008.

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The rub: Our state government doesn't want to be bothered with the only secure, reliable electoral system current technology permits: hand-counting. In answer to their belittling the very idea of hand counting out of hand (so to speak) our officials tell us about the fraud that existed when we hand counted for one hundred plus years. What they don't say is the level of insider manipulation when we hand counted is child's play compared to the wholesale election theft enabled by computerized voting systems.

The Players:

The Department of Justice: The DOJ is headed up by the un-American John Tanner who as chief of the voting rights section has eliminated anyone concerned with the legitimate mission of protecting the people's right to vote and replaced them with people hell bent on disenfranchising millions of Americans  The DOJ's efforts to deprive citizens of their right to vote has been overt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KerwQWpBBIs.  To name just a few there was the firing of the US Attorneys who refused to prosecute phony "voter" fraud cases; the unprecedented move by Tanner to use the DOJ to cover up the rigging of the presidential election in Ohio, http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/004438.php; Tanner's overruling the objections that the Georgia photo ID law would disproportionately discriminate against African-Americans – the same law a federal appeals judge subsequently declared was comparable to a Jim Crow-era poll tax, http://www.bradblog.com/?cat=321.

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Andi Novick Election Transparency Coalition, www.etcnys.org, http://nylevers.wordpress.com/

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