Teresa Hommel

www.wheresthepaper.org

Chairwoman, Task Force on Election Integrity of

Community Church of New York

 

Press Conference celebrating Passage of Resolution 228 by the City Council

August 16, 2006 at City Hall, New York

 

 

With Resolution 228 our New York City Council has set a standard that our entire nation can aspire to.

 

Our City Council is saying that elections belong to the people.

Our City Council is saying we want to see complete public tests to make sure the new equipment works BEFORE we hand over potentially hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

Our City Council has clearly set forth the kinds of tests that are appropriate and essential at the city level:

        Complete Mock Elections are the only way to ensure that an entire voting system works AND that our elections staff and poll workers and voters can make it work. Fancy computer equipment that ordinary people can't understand, or work with, will NOT benefit our city.

        Hacking tests, both by professional companies and individual public-spirited computer experts, are the only way to ensure that computerized voting systems are not easily broken into.

 

Our City Council has called for public consideration of costs. Our city has closed firehouses and hospitals, reduced the hours that our libraries are open, just to save a few million dollars. Here, we might be spending hundreds of millions of dollars for equipment that no one has seen work yet, and our Board of Elections hasn't even published a cost analysis of our different options.

 

Finally, our City Council is calling for some way to determine whether the equipment we receive is what we ordered. Around our country, jurisdictions have been mighty surprised AFTER their equipment has failed in an election, to examine it and find out it is illegal, not federally or state certified, and not what they thought they purchased! The New York City Council is saying we want to be able to examine the equipment when it's delivered, and make sure it's what we ordered. Not just the outside of the computer -- the insides -- the software, firmware, and whatever else is in there.

 

If our Board of Elections pays attention to this resolution, it will help us prevent future problems.

 

Resolution 228 is a result of magnificent work by

        Council Member Robert Jackson, Lead Sponsor

        Simcha Felder, Chairman of the Governmental Operations Committee

        and the entire City Council.

 

I am so happy to have this opportunity to express my deep respect and gratitude for these outstanding public servants.