Election Integrity Advocates Urge Court To Order Hand Count In Next Presidential Election
12/17/07 - Humboldt County election watchdog group The Voter Confidence Committee (VCC), together with more than 30 other election integrity groups and advocates from coast to coast, have joined an amicus brief filed just prior to Friday's deadline in the case of US v NY State Board of Elections (Case # 1:06-cv-263). The Department of Justice is suing New York State to compel compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) passed in 2002.
The amicus cites multiple legal precedents defining the right to vote as not only including the right to cast a ballot, but also to see the ballot fairly received and counted. Submitted with the brief is overwhelming evidence that electronic voting systems are not only error and manipulation-prone, but also unconstitutional in their secrecy of operation. The amicus argues hand-counting paper ballots is HAVA compliant, and urges the court to order the two federal races (President, and US Representative) on New York's ballot next November to be hand-counted.
New York Attorney Andrea Novick of Election Defense Alliance (EDA) filed the brief, tentatively scheduled to be argued in United States Federal Court in Albany, NY on December 20 by EDA Attorney Jonathan Simon. Simon called the brief "an opportunity to offer an alternative solution that moves away from disastrous experiences of other states' use of secret, computerized electronic vote counting equipment."
The brief offers over 200 pages of supporting documentation -- including evidence and analysis of outcome-determinative electronic vote mistabulation, as well as guides, tools, and detailed instructions for hand counting -- prepared and submitted by election reformists from a broad spectrum of organizations. Novick saluted the "cooperation and enthusiasm displayed by our colleagues across the election integrity spectrum" in preparing these critically important documents for the court.
The VCC has been advocating hand-counting all ballots in Humboldt elections and created a forecast tool to project cost, time and labor needs. The forecast tool has received national attention with applicability for any jurisdiction willing to objectively judge the feasibility of hand-counting.
"Andrea Novick and other nationally known election integrity advocates such as Rady Ananda asked for my help," said VCC co-founder Dave Berman. "We're a world away here in Humboldt but our work is making a difference. The forecast tool shows it is possible for every legally compliant polling place in NY to hand-count two federal races on election night in the poll site with one team of four people in four hours or less."
The VCC is currently collecting names of Humboldt voters willing to hand-count ballots on election night in local precincts. For more information on the VCC's Humboldt hand-count campaign, visit www.VoterConfidenceCommittee.org.
For further information on the amicus brief and federal case, including updates on scheduling, please contact Sally Castleman at Sallyc@ElectionDefenseAlliance.org (781-454-8700) or Jonathan Simon at VerifiedVote2004@aol.com (617-538-6012). The amicus and related materials may be found at: http://tinyurl.com/2vjphf.