Missing from A5 and S1809 -- Minimum Safeguards for Secure Elections


We call upon the NY State Assembly and Senate to:


1. Ban all communication capability in electronic voting or vote tabulating equipment. This includes wireless, telephone-line-based, internet-based, and all future communications technologies. Communication ability in this equipment opens the ballot box to tampering by any technically competent person in the world.


2. Ban privatization of elections – ban vendor contracts and require/fund training for Board of Elections staff. Current bills require our Boards of Elections to hire vendor technicians to handle all computer operations BECAUSE these bills allow evote systems to be purchased and used, but do not fund and require training for elections staff to learn to manage them. Our law must require vendors to provide thorough training in the software and management of their evote systems. Our law must fund and require training of all election staff BEFORE these systems are used -- or vendors will be running our elections.


3. Require public counting of all votes, not “trust.” Current bills give us worthless, expensive, time-consuming "security" procedures with computers, but require only 3% of voter-verified paper ballots from evote systems to be counted. Election integrity comes from multipartisan observation of all ballots after they are cast, and multipartisan observation of all vote-counting, not from studying computers and computer software, or “trusting” mathematicians that counting 3% of votes is “significant.” Count all votes!


4. Require public, professional-quality audits when electronic and voter-verified paper ballot tallies don't match. Fraud is possible with both electronic and voter-verified paper ballot tallies. When the tallies don’t match, the law must require an investigation into both the evote system and the handling of the paper ballots.


5. Establish legal standards for accuracy of vote tallies. Elections should be controlled by the people through their elected officials, not by a handful of appointed Commissioners. Because of the ease of falsifying ballots and tallies when evote systems are used, the law must require 100% accuracy of tallies when electronic and voter-verified paper-ballot tallies are compared. The law should not delegate to the state Board of Elections to decide how inaccurate our elections can be when evote systems are used.


6. Require public posting of all reports of evote machine failures, as well as discrepancies between evote and voter-verified paper ballot vote tallies. Don't hide the truth from the voters!


7. Require full disclosure to the public of initial and continuing costs of evote systems, including vendor contracts for all services after purchase, training and salaries for elections staff, and estimated costs of audits, lawsuits, climate-controlled storage, etc. Some cost info is available at www.nyvv.org.


8. Give county Boards of Elections the choice:

* lever machines & accessible ballot-marking machines for voters with disabilities/non-English languages

* paper ballots & accessible ballot-marking machines and precinct-based optical scanners

* evote systems with voter-verified paper ballots and 100% professional-quality audits with 100%

      accuracy required.



www.wheresthepaper.org/ny.html         admin@wheresthepaper.org         2/16/05

This document is available at   http://www.wheresthepaper.org/MissingFromA5andS1809.htm