Statement before the Governmental Operations Committee
New York City Council
Nov. 13, 2007
One of the greatest voter deceptions in our nation today
is the use of computers to record, cast, store, handle, and count votes
I read "Deliver the Vote" by Tracy Campbell, and some other works on the history of election fraud in our country. It seems that fraud has been widespread and well-accepted but conducted locally. It seems that the strength of local political organizations, as manifest in their ability to "cheat fair and square," has been accepted as a substitute for the will of local voters.
The Help America Vote Act in 2002 and the subsequent rapid increase in use of electronic voting machines have changed the type of fraud that America has to deal with. With electronic voting systems:
It is true that voter registration and voter access to the voting booth continue to be areas of deception and intimidation. Electronic voting and vote-tabulating equipment, however, provide an additional mechanism by which one person can control election outcomes by tampering that takes only a few seconds, whether before, during and/or after an election.
None of our long-standing, well-respected, national good-government organizations are dealing with this problem. Our state and federal government are not dealing with it. But in this big void, the New York City Councilís leadership and voice on election issues has been loud and clear.
This Council has already passed two resolutions on voting machine issues. Now two more resolutions are before you in this Committee, introduced by Council Member Darlene Mealy. Res. 784 supports a federal bill against voter deception and intimidation. Res. 961 urges our state to seek alternatives to buying voting equipment from the major vendors, all of whom have delivered shoddy machines and services, and caused chaos in the elections of other states. I urge this Committee to continue to deal with election issues for as long as these issues are a problem. Please pass these resolutions out of committee, and recommending them for passage by the full City Council.