Public Notice Concerning Selection of New York Voting Machines

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For IMMEDIATE RELEASE, February 11, 2008
Public Notice to County Boards of Election, County Election Commissioners, and County Elected Officials of New York State Regarding Selection and Purchase of Appropriate Ballot Marking Devices

It is our intention to alert county Boards of Election, the county Election Commissioners, and county elected officials that the Liberty DRE marketed in the United States by Liberty Election Systems is manufactured by the Dutch company, Nedap, and is the same machine marketed in Europe as the PowerVote Voting System.

These DREs and their software have been found to have crucial security and accuracy flaws based
on security reports from the Netherlands and Ireland serious enough to enjoin New York's contracting with Nedap/Liberty.1

The Liberty DRE  does not comply with New York's requirement that a DRE produce a permanent paper record,
suitable for election audits, nor does it enable voters with disabilities to independently cast and verify their voting selections, as required by federal and state law.2

The Avante DRE, another poor choice, is similarly an inherent security risk that fails to meet legal requirements for voter accessibility.

New York should heed other states' bad experience with the abundantly documented failures and security risks
of DRE-type machines, which conceal the vote-recording function from the voters and issue only an inadequate, jam- and fraud-prone "paper trail" illusion rather than a real ballot. No DRE-type machine is appropriate for conducting elections and no further public funds should be wasted on them.

In light of the foregoing, this letter serves as our notice to all County Boards of Election, the Commissioners, and county elected officials that, should their county proceed with the selection of a DRE or Ballot Marking Device that can be converted to a DRE, Election Defense Alliance and allied organizations that represent the interests of the voter will be conducting one or more of the following actions to insure that the voting process has not been corrupted: parallel elections, citizen exit polling, FOIA requests for all relevant documentation, and appropriate legal action to ensure strict chain of custody protections for the machines, memory cards, databases, and all associated records of the vote.  

Also, be advised that investigations will be undertaken to determine that no inappropriate connections or conflicts of interest exist between lobbyists, vendors and election officials, appointees, or staff.  

Jonathan D. Simon, Co-Founder

Sally Castleman, National Chairperson

Daniel Ashby, Director

1. In 2003, Ireland spent 50 million euros on 7500 Nedap DREs, but has never used the machines because of their vulnerabilities.  The Irish government created an Independent Commission on Electronic Voting (the Irish Commission) to examine the
security of these DREs. The Irish Commission published two reports that raised critical doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the software used to count votes on the Nedap/Liberty DREs.

2 . New York requires that DREs produce a "voter verified permanent paper record which shall be presented to the voter" McKinney's Election Law sec 7-202 (1) j. The regulations, Part 6209.1 (am), refer to this as a VVPAT, a voter verifiable paper audit trail.  The principal reason for requiring a VVPAT is to allow a voter to verify her/his vote to see whether  it was properly recorded as cast.  Liberty's machines have not had this VVPAT in Europe and Nedap has been resistant to providing it as well.  Nedap's contempt for supplying a VVPAT is apparent from the product it is now offering in New York.  What is put forward as Liberty's VVPAT is grossly inadequate to the task and cannot be considered as complying with New York's requirements.

Election Defense Alliance is a program of International Humanities Center, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation
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