Good Morning. My name is Tracey Denton and I am the Executive Director of Democracy for NYC, a local grassroots political group. We are the local coalition group of Democracy for America, which is the organization started by Howard Dean just after his presidential campaign.
Democracy for NYC, also known as "DFNYC," is comprised of many reform-minded citizens, including many former Dean volunteers. We have approximately 500 members, and our members are active in the political process, volunteering and contributing in both national and local campaigns. The issue of electronic voting is of tantamount importance to us and to concerned citizens across the country. DFNYC has wholeheartedly endorsed the Paper Ballot Optical Scan system for NY, as opposed to DRE voting machines.
The Democratic National Committee, also known as "the DNC," supports the Paper Ballot Optical Scan system as preferable to DRE machines. The DNC declares this support in a report from the DNC's Voting Rights Institute issued this past summer. This report can be found on the DNC's website at the following url, which I will read into the record: http://www.democrats.org/a/2005/06/democracy_at_ri.php.
Many Democracy for America local groups like ours, all across the country, have been actively promoting secure voting systems, and they have had some successes. However, they have also been shocked at some efforts of state and local officials to conceal information about voting machines and make unilateral decisions with little public input. In fact, there is a growing movement in grassroots politics to support only those candidates that will actively push for real verified voting.
As more and more citizens learn about this issue, they cannot be pushed aside with assurances such as "Don't worry, we will have paper trails," because a paper trail is not enough to make an election secure. Nor will we be pushed aside with comments such as "Sometimes there are problems with voting machines, but no voting system is perfect." When it comes to right to vote -- the very foundation of accountability in a democracy -- our mindset should not be to defend the status quo and ignore the solutions that are right before us. Yet unfortunately, that is what many otherwise well-meaning leaders have been doing; ignoring the myriad of election problems that have been caused by computerized voting.
Today, Democracy for NYC urges you to take a more positive approach and support fair and secure elections in New York. We urge each council member on this committee and in the entire city council to sign on as a sponsor of Resolution 131, and also to Resolution 228. Thank you.