Thursday, June 4, 2009

LWV to NYS Board of Elections:
Pilot Off Course!

According to a report by Bo Lipari, representing the League of Women Voters of New York, the State Board of Elections' and US Department of Justice's so-called "pilot" of uncertified computerized optical scan vote-counting systems is way off course.

The State and County Boards of Elections participating in the aggressive and reckless roll-out of the uncertified ballot scanners this year may not be so fortunate as to have the services of Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III (pictured above), but they may very well need them before Election Day is over this year.

Lipari, a member of the Citizens Election Modernization Advisory Committee, writes that the systems to be used in the 2009 elections still have open defects which will not be fixed in the deployed systems. Moreover, significant changes have been made to software source code which has not yet undergone any wide scale testing, and will be used for the first time in real New York State elections.

Lipari's report goes on to list five areas that need improvement in the proposed plan:
  • Inadequate Auditing Provisions.
  • Participation should be limited to no more than 10% of registered voters per county.
  • No contingency plan in the event of problems.
  • Inadequate specifications for system and ballot security and chain of custody.
  • No plan for post pilot evaluation.
He concludes, "While well intentioned, the Proposed Plan has serious weaknesses that should be addressed before the plan is implemented."

That's putting it mildly. We believe that without a 100% hand count of the paper ballots, conducted in accordance with the procedures spelled out in New York's Election Law (PDF), this "pilot" is nothing less than a violation of our Constitutional rights.

The League, The New York Public Interest Research Group and New Yorkers for Verified Voting issued a press release in which LWV's election specialist Aimee Allaud said the State is using the voters of New York as "guinea pigs."

All we can say at this point is: MAYDAY!

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