Saturday, March 14, 2009

Get behind these budget cuts, NYC

The NYC Board of Elections is complaining, and threatening suit, against Mayor Bloomberg's budget cuts.

C'mon, guys, let's get real.

  • The Feds have extended the deadline for states to use federal funds to modernize voting systems
  • The proposed system is probably unconstitutional in NYS
  • The optical scanners have yet to be certified as performing to standards so low that they don't/can't assure voters that the machines can't be hacked
  • Paper ballots required to give us confidence in the integrity of a software-based system are so fraught with opportunity for election fraud that they were replaced by levers in NYC with bi-partisan support in 1926
  • Even if certified, the optical scanner-based system can't be implemented in time for 2009 elections.
Now you're going to spend more money suing the city? Give us a break!
Budget cuts endangering city elections, Board of Elections says: "The cuts come during the two most demanding election periods - last year's presidential elections and this year's municipal elections - when all city offices will be on the ballot.

The budget cuts also come as the board is preparing to switch to new electronic voting machines for this year's elections - although Cederqvist acknowledged that developments on the state and federal court levels could postpone that switch for another year.

The mayor's proposed cuts for the new budget would not leave enough money to run all the elections expected this year, including possible runoff elections, Cederqvist said."
All this when, according to Andi Novick at the Election Transparency Coalition, this same body, the NYC Board of Elections, ran an illegal paper ballot recount on Staten Island recently. You can read their blog post here.

I hope the NYC Board of Elections reconsiders its position. We have a perfectly good lever system augmented with ballot marking devices to meet the HAVA requirements. Let's retain it.

Isn't this a budget reduction that New Yorkers can get behind?
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