Published: 01:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 13, 2010


N.Y.'s elections being Floridized


The Brennan Center for Justice has filed a lawsuit on behalf of voting rights groups claiming that the new ballot scanning computers certified by the state Board of Elections will greatly increase the likelihood that a voter will cast more votes for an elected office than allowed.


This error, known as overvoting, makes it impossible to count such votes. It's one of the reasons George W. Bush won Florida in the 2000 presidential election. The plaintiffs are right; New York's elections are being Floridized. But their complaint is the tip of the iceberg.


New York's ballot scanners do not comply with the state Election Law that requires machines approved by the Board of Elections to notify voters of "the effect of casting multiple votes for the office."


The U.S. Justice Department and federal Judge Gary Sharpe may have undermined the state's certification process by rushing it, but state attorneys never mounted a credible defense. Instead, they consented to the replacement of our lever voting machines with computers that, unlike lever machines, facilitate both overvoting and vote switching between candidates and political parties.


The extreme moral hazard introduced by this new system of voting is being challenged by Nassau County in state and federal courts. But New York voters remain unrepresented, except for the effort to correct the overvote notification bug -- the tip of the iceberg.


Howard Stanislevic


E-Voter Education Project

New York City


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