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Victory in NY City Council

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Message Teresa Hommel

Victory in New York City Council

Resolution 131 for paper ballots and optical scanners passed the New
York City Council by unanimous vote on March 14, 2007.

The resolution was brilliantly written by the council to make clear to
all that elections must be observed by the people, and should not
require "trust" in computer experts to say whether the votes were
properly handled.

PHOTOS of the festive press conference are at
http://www.wheresthepaper.org/Res131PressConf.html

Here is the text of the resolution, and quotes from 19 national, state,
and local organizations are below the resolutions.

---TEXT OF RESOLUTION 131---

Res. No. 131-A

Resolution urging the New York State Board of Elections to promptly
certify Precinct Based Optical Scan voting systems that are compliant
with the New York State Board of Elections voting system standards for
procurement by the county Boards of Elections and urging the Board of
Elections in the City of New York to select a Precinct Based Optical
Scan system that is compliant with the New York State Board of Elections
voting system standards as the new voting technology for the City of New
York.

Whereas, Honest, observable, and easily-verified public elections
constitute the foundation of representative democracy; and

Whereas, Public confidence in the outcome of elections depends on voting
technology that is easy to use and enables citizens to observe,
understand, and attest to the reliable and secure handling of votes; and

Whereas, The federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) was intended
to address concerns with the manner in which elections were conducted
following the Presidential Election of 2000; and

Whereas, HAVA requires states to undertake various measures to modernize
elections and increase voter participation; and

Whereas, In 2005, the New York State Legislature enacted the Election
Reform and Modernization Act (ERMA) in order to comply with HAVA; and

Whereas, ERMA requires county boards of election to select new voting
technology to replace the mechanical lever machines, which are currently
used throughout the state; and

Whereas, Under ERMA, county boards of election may select either a
Precinct Based Optical Scan (PBOS) voting system or a Direct Recording
Electronic (DRE) voting system; and

Whereas, Further, under ERMA, the New York State Board of Elections is
responsible for certifying that voting systems are compliant with its
standards and can be procured for use by the county boards of election; and

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Teresa Hommel is a voting activist in NY and chair of the Task Force On Voting Integrity, Community Church of New York.
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