It looks like the decision about lever machines replacements will wind up with the counties. However, the HAVA conference committee still has not agreed on specific bill language, and we're waiting to see what the final law looks like. But it's clear they don't intend to specify a single choice for New York State.
There are still many questions about what the phrase means "let the counties decide." Who in the counties will decide? The election commissioners? The county legislature? Nobody knows for sure, and there are a thousand more undefined details about how the decision making process will actually work, and what equipment counties will actually have to choose from.
A number of election commissioners believe they will get to make the decision, without consulting their county officials. And all too many feel that citizens should have no say in this decision at all.
I couldn't disagree more strongly. The public WILL HAVE A SAY IN THIS DECISION, a decision that will determine how we vote in New York for the foreseeable future. But in order to do that, we need your help.
The lobbyists and vendors have already begun spreading out to the counties with their message about the wonders of DREs. Right now, as you read this, they are talking to your town and county legislators and executives, your county election officials. They are telling them that they don't want paper ballots and optical scan. And your county officials are listening. We cannot let the lobbyists be the only voice they hear.
PHASE TWO - WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We have to get to work, right now, at the county level. Just as the lobbyists are out talking to your county officials, we need to be as well.
NYVV is looking for residents in EACH AND EVERY COUNTY IN NEW YORK who can help us spread the message about the benefits of paper ballots for New York. We have to arrange presentations, provide support materials, appear at town and county meetings, and meet with local officials to make sure that they hear our voice as well as the lobbyists.
We can help you prepare with materials, training, and presenters. I've been traveling to different counties presenting and assisting and I'll come to your county too. But we need you to get the ball rolling, and to keep it in play at the local level.
We are going to have to fight this county by county, and we will. But we can't do it without your help.
We've achieved a lot in a short time. we've FOUGHT AND WON to get paper ballots and optical scan as an option on the table for New York. But now the lobbyists, the vendors, are fighting back hard, and they think they have more resources than we do for a county by county struggle. I think they're wrong!
Please contact me let me know you can help NYVV in your county. We have a lot of territory to cover, and we need everyone's help.
You can vote on paper ballots in 2006, or you can vote on DREs. Help us make the right choice.