August 31, 2007
Honorable Simcha Felder
Chair, Governmental Operations Committee
250 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Dear Council Member Felder:
Please use the power of your office to cause Resolution 961 to be voted out of the Governmental Operations Committee and passed by the full City Council.
Resolution 961 urges the NY State Board of Elections to obtain optical scan voting systems that would be under full public control. I do not want New York to use voting systems with "secret software” controlled by private vendors with no transparency and no accountability to the public.
Dan Rather’s report “The Problems with Touchscreens” revealed that one major vendor, ES&S, knowingly delivered touchscreens with 30-40% failure rates, and another, Sequoia, intentionally delivered defective punch card ballots to Florida in 2000, causing the famous hanging chads and providing an excuse to get rid of secure, observable paper-based voting. www.hd.net/drr227.html
It is clear that private vendors are not the proper guardians of our ballots, and that electronic ballots handled by secret software are too risky. We need alternatives, as Resolution 961 urges.
The New York City Council must voice the people’s concerns and our need for New York State to find a way to accept a free, completely “open source” system from a citizen group such as Open Voting Solutions.
The City Council has shown leadership on voting system issues in the past, and must continue to use its influence to guide our state to obtain voting equipment that is under full public control, open to public scrutiny, and worthy of public confidence.
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