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Common myth:  HAVA requires us to replace our levers.  It does not.

Common myth:  A court has ruled that levers are not HAVA-compliant.  No court has ever made any such ruling.

Common myth:  New York's electronic voting system will be transparent. It will be anything but.

Common myth:  "Auditing" the unreliable computerized results by counting a small percentage (or any percentage) of ballots after the election is over, after the press has announced the winner, after the ballots have been exposed to heightened opportunities for post-election tampering is good enough for a secure, democratic election.  This is not true.  In fact, using post-election ballots to verify secure election-night results is considered so insecure that New York has never in 231 years permitted post-election ballots to be used to verify secure election-night results, until now.

Common myth:  New York State's more stringent certification testing requirements, if complied with, will make optical scanners or DREs accurate and safe to vote on. This is not true.  No matter how much testing is done, because software is by its nature mutable, the pre-election testing cannot tell you how the optical scanner or DRE will count the votes.

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Since no court has even been asked to rule on the issue of whether lever voting machines are HAVA compliant, and since the computerized voting system New York has enacted is the antithesis of a secure open electoral system, violating in its enactment existing laws, two centuries of accumulated experience and wisdom, and a myriad of safeguards that have protected New Yorkers' "consent" from corruption by fraud, we would hope that the "People's attorney," the Attorney General, would have fought for the People's right to not be disenfranchised.  But because Mr. Cuomo's office has decided to side with the State Legislature against the People, the People have no choice but to pursue their own litigation against the State of New York and the State Board of Elections to stop them from forcing us to vote in this highly unsecure and unconstitutional manner.

Our federal constitution is in tatters, our once independent Department of Justice has become a tool of a corrupt federal government hoping to disenfranchise as many people as it can.  But New York's state constitution is alive and well and the State of New York's electoral system is vibrant and constitutionally-compliant.  New York Voters need to take action to stop the State from abandoning our lever voting system for the theft-enabling computerized system, while we still have a functioning electoral system. 

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We are the only state not to have exposed our electoral system to increased and unprotected opportunities to unseen fraud.  We are the only state with an existing strong, secure voting system.  We must stand up to the Department of Justice and its disregard for our laws and our democratic, transparent, reliable voting system.  We must stand up to our State Legislature that have caved to a corrupt Department of Justice and violated the rights of the Voters of New York.  We must fight to retain what is constitutionally ours before it is taken away.

With your help we will commence this lawsuit against the State of New York.  Please tell your neighbors.  Please give them the facts.  The facts speak for themselves and loudly beg the question–       

           Why in the world would we abandon our lever voting system?

Footnote:  All of the above lays out why we believe it is critical to keep the facts accurate in the public's mind.  Accordingly, we have withdrawn the original footnote to this article in order to end the distraction over he said/she said.  This diverts us from the facts and harms the efforts of all of us who are trying to secure what each of us believes to be the best voting system for New York.  We are all entitled to our beliefs.  So, in the spirit of respecting each other's beliefs, here are ours:

Based on 231 years of history in New York State, we know what a secure, transparent electoral system requires because we can look at the case law and statutes and see what has worked for New York.  Relying on the law as written over the past two centuries:  

We believe a democratic electoral system requires that ordinary people be able to observe that the system accurately counts our votes.  

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We believe it requires that many eyes be able to check each other as we witness the process that results in the count.  

We believe it requires the production of reliable, publicly accessible evidence of both how the votes were counted as well as evidence of tampering, should it occur.  

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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