Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big Week for Election Integrity in The Big Apple

It's been quite a week for election integrity advocates (starting last Thursday) here in the City of New York!

First the stunning but perfectly reasonable declaration by Columbia County Election Commissioner Virginia Martin in a State Assembly hearing in the City last Thursday, where she testified [PDF] that she would not certify an election counted by computers "unless an appropriately designed audit of the paper ballots is conducted."

We continue to work toward that end, assuming any county given the choice would actually replace its tried and true lever voting machines with paper ballots counted by computers. But as we have reported previously, auditing elections in New York to any degree of confidence -- statistical or otherwise -- is going to be an uphill climb.

Here's our testimony [PDF] from last Thursday's hearing including some graphics [PDF]. And here's a full recap complied by Teresa Hommel of WheresThePaper.org.

Martin also said that given today’s fiscal environment, the state budget and current and future deficits, the only prudent thing to do is to amend the New York Election Law to allow counties to continue to use their lever voting machines.

In a related E.I. development, tomorrow in response to calls for fiscal responsibility and election integrity, New York City Councilmember Helen D. Foster will introduce a Resolution to keep the City's 7,300 lever voting machines which, contrary to popular belief, the Help America Vote Act does not require to be replaced.

Councilmember Helen D. Foster

Advocates and fellow public officials will commend Councilmember Foster at a press conference on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 12:45 PM. The public is invited to attend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time for investigative reporters to find out what's behind the voting machines.

BY RICHARD BRAND: "The greater threat to our nation's security comes not from Dubai and its pro-Western government, but from Venezuela, where software engineers with links to the leftist, anti-American regime of Hugo Chávez are programming electronic voting machines that will soon power U.S. elections. …The company was started in Caracas during the late 1990s by engineers Antonio Mugica and Alfredo Anzola. They worked out of downtown Caracas providing small-scale technology services to Latin American banks. ...the tiny company rocketed from obscurity in 2004 after it was awarded a $100 million contract by the Chávez-dominated National Electoral Council to replace Venezuela's electronic voting machines for the recall vote.…When the council announced the deal, it disingenuously described Smartmatic as a Florida company, though Smartmatic's main operations were in Caracas and the firm had incorporated only a small office in Boca Raton. It then emerged that Smartmatic's ''partner'' in the deal, Bizta Corp., also directed by Anzola and Mugica, was partly owned by the Venezuelan government through a series of intermediary shell corporations. Venezuela initially denied its investment but eventually sold its stake.… In fact, Smartmatic International is owned by a Netherlands corporation, which is in turn owned by a Curacao corporation, which is in turn held by a number of Curacao trusts controlled by proxy holders who represent unnamed investors, almost certainly among them Venezuelans Mugica and Anzola and possibly others.…Why Smartmatic has chosen yet again to abuse the corporate form apparently to conceal the nationality and identity of its true owners is a question that should worry anyone who votes using one of its machines. Congress… never asked whether America's actual enemies in Venezuela have been able to acquire …influence in our electoral process."