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The Fight to Hold on to Our HAVA-Compliant Lever Voting System: Keeping the Air and the Facts Clear

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By Andi Novick and Rady Ananda

"If citizens mistakenly believe that a court has already ruled against the legality of our lever voting system, they will give up and accept the unconstitutional system planned for 2009." 

Let’s Clear the Air distinguishes the facts from the myths about the status of New York State's electoral system.  New York is the only state not to have computerized its electoral system and the only state that still has a secure, reliable, transparent, functioning electoral system.  Since New York is in the process of installing ballot marking devices in every poll site, providing an accessible means for voters with special needs to vote independently, there is no justification for the State to abandon its now HAVA-compliant lever voting system.  

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Software-driven optical scanners and DRE voting systems have proven to be vulnerable to undetectable tampering.  New York voters must fight to hold onto their theft-deterring lever voting system before they lose it.  New York courts must defend our proud history of transparent, safeguarded, trustworthy elections and proclaim to the State's legislature and to the rest of the nation:  

Exposing our elections to the risk of massive tampering using hidden, unprotectable vote-counting software is unconstitutional.  

Computerized voting systems disenfranchise citizens in numerous ways, including depriving us of the right to know our votes are counted as cast and by permitting the count to be diluted by undetectable fraud.  Because New York still enjoys a constitutionally-compliant, viable electoral system, we are uniquely positioned to seek a court ruling on the unconstitutionality of the proposed computerized system.   

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What happens next in New York will reverberate around the nation.  It is therefore critical that we keep these facts straight.   

In 2005, New York's Legislature passed the Election Reform and Modernization Act (ERMA), determining that it would comply with HAVA by replacing our lever voting system with a computerized voting system.  Subsequently, it consented to an Order in federal court, implementing a timeline to replace our levers with computerized "crap" by 2009.   

Maybe our legislators didn't realize what they were doing in 2005, but since then, dozens of scientific studies corroborate that optical scanners and DRES are grossly vulnerable to undetectable and massive election fraud.  The computerized electoral system planned by our Legislature eviscerates all that was secure, transparent and constitutional about our lever voting system, depriving New Yorkers of the right to a meaningful vote.  And yet, New York State proceeds with Eyes Wide Shut. 


The Election Transparency Coalition is a New York based group, formed to preserve open, secure elections.  It is prepared to commence legal action to prevent concealed, theft-inviting software from replacing New York's secure, theft-deterring lever voting system. New Yorkers interested in joining this effort can this petition.  

If citizens mistakenly believe that a court has already ruled against the legality of our lever voting system, they will give up and accept the unconstitutional system planned for 2009.  

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We cannot give up.   

We are the last state with a democratically-compliant, transparent, trustworthy, non-computerized, non-privatized electoral system.  We are entitled to our day in court before we surrender our safeguarded electoral system to one that opens the door to known and new opportunities to fraud.  We must fight to preserve our lever voting system now before it is replaced. 

This is why we believe it is so important to keep the facts straight and accurate in the public's mind.  Accordingly, we have withdrawn the original footnote to Let’s Clear the Air 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: 

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

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