Simply said, if we lose control of our vote, we lose everything we value about our Democracy.
We want Paper Ballots and Optical Scanners as our new voting technology, and not electronic voting.
New York must replace our mechanical lever voting machines by 9/1/07 with only these two options, but decisions as early as next month. (1) PBOS, Paper Ballots with precinct-based Optical Scanners, with accessibility to voters with disabilities and language minorities, or (2) DREs, "Direct Recording Electronic" voting machines with a touch screen or pushbuttons.
PBOS is a good transition from lever machines to counting electronically, but with safeguards and voter verifiability.
PBOS also costs less than half and lasts twice as long as DRE.
While we enjoy our computers, and all the bells and whistles, the direct electronic voting systems are error prone and easy to hack. They lose votes, create votes, shift votes, freeze and count backwards, in great numbers. Quickly, and without detection.
Since the law says only 3% of the vote would be spot-checked, 97% of the vote is unobservable, hiding a multitude of problems and the wrongly elected.
Some of the current decision-makers are operating with the devil they know. Many would like to scuttle the poll worker system, or remember the ballot stuffing stories, but without considering the computer devil they don't know. Nothing can compare with the stealth and magnitude possible with electronic voting fraud.
There is a heavy lobbying and public relations effort to bring the DREs to New York State. Contrary to the sales pitch, these machines are not audited or built like ATMs, where business practices require an updating, 100% cross-audit.
Already compromised by voter disenfranchisement, new ID requirements, low registration and turnout, elections are now threatened by vendor owned technology with bogus results.
Electronic voting has become another voting rights struggle.
Following are important comparisons and misconceptions: (1) The PBOS voter-verified paper ballot is the legal ballot, whereas the DRE electronic "paper trail" is not the legal ballot. That vote is recorded directly, and known only to the vendor. (2) Therefore, we have the potential for the privatization of our elections:
The paper ballot for the Paper Ballot, precinct based Optical Scanner, PBOS, is the LEGAL ballot, verified by the voter before it is cast, counted, and witnessed by citizen observers. That's what we want.
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