July 25, 2007
NY City Council Member Darlene Mealy introduced Resolution 961 today, calling upon the NY State Board of Elections to develop our own optical scan system like Oklahoma did, or to accept a free 100% open-source optical scan system from citizens who have developed it. http://www.wheresthepaper.org/ny.html#CCreso961
One third of the council signed on as sponsors! including Addabbo, Avella, Foster, Gerson, Jackson, James, Koppell, Liu, Mendez, Monserrate, Nelson, Palma, Sanders, Seabrook, Vann, and White.
--read this wonderful resolution
--get letters to send to Speaker Christine Quinn, and Governmental Operations Chairman Simcha Felder
If your Council Member is not a sponsor, please call them ASAP and ask them to sponsor it, and if they don't want to, ask why not. --And let us know! email@example.com
The League of Women Voters of New York City can help you find your council member. http://www.lwvnyc.org/TRY_find.html
Explanation of the issue
Resolution 961 deals with our future voting equipment, and public confidence in our elections. We need voting equipment that is under full public control and not under the control of private corporations, which have no accountability to the public.
New York State has two alternatives to the purchase of voting systems with secret software from private vendors.
1. New York could commission the development of its own optical scanner system to be used throughout the state.
2. New York could accept a free, 100% "open source" system which has been developed by citizens eager to provide an alternative to commercially produced systems.
The state of Oklahoma developed their own software for their current optical scanner system, and there is not even one problem report from Oklahoma in any election problem database for recent elections.
This subject is urgent now, because New York State plans to resume testing new systems from private vendors in September 2007. Yet, all of the major vendors that wish to sell their equipment in New York have had difficulties in delivering working equipment, and their equipment has a history of high failure rates. These vendors have engaged in legal disputes with their clients, in some cases going so far as to claim ownership of voting data after use of their equipment.
In addition, the New York State Comptroller has guidelines for "vendor responsibility" http://www.osc.state.ny.us/agencies/gbull/g221.htm and NONE of the major vendors of voting systems meet these requirements http://www.wheresthepaper.org/IrresponsibleVendors070710.pdf.
Our City Council Members must voice the need for voting equipment that is under full public control, open to public scrutiny, and worthy of public confidence.
We want the City Council to pass Resolution 961 to send a message to the New York State Board of Elections to commission the development of a system that would be owned entirely by our state, or to accept a free system from citizens who have developed it.