Fairer Voting Imperative
For New York State
New York State
Fair voting Proposal
by Lynn Weed, Advocate
Fair voting has historically helped to establish and maintain a democratic government.
This concept of governance, begun in ancient Greece, continues in America. Stones and pot chards dropped in Greek vases gave way to paper ballots dropped in sealed boxes. 1. Optical scan machines have now replaced hand-counting paper ballots. With the inclusion of technology, voting accuracy has become vital to electing a fair democratic government and to fairly and honestly reflect the wishes of the voters.
Governor Cuomo, in January 2017 submitted a proposal to modernize voting. Our proposal, of necessity, is to include a Voter-verified paper audit trail, VVPAT 2. In the New York State voting booths, coincides with and supports Governor Cuomo’s voting proposal.
In the 2016 election, American citizens became aware that hacking of voting machines, both computer and manual, was a clear possibility in American elections. Jill Stein, of the Green Party, began to address these issues with voter outcomes in Ohio, PA, Wisconsin and Michigan, by doing manual recounts, in these states with willing volunteers. Unfortunately, she was blocked in her efforts, by lawsuits filed. The outcomes of those lawsuits are still being litigated. Many Americans were shocked by the resulting elections outcomes.
In order to avoid potential hacking of voting devices and a repeat of 2016, we believe a Bill or Amendment, is necessary, mandating that the State of New York provide voters with computer voting machines, which give receipts, with the name so the candidates chosen, on them. If there is a question of hacking by any source, external or internal, the issue can be resolved by a manual recount.
Using our ingenuity and technology, we can ensure a fair and true outcome of elections, both state and national for all citizens who choose to exercise their right to vote. Ensuring the use of a direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting systems will work towards accomplishing this. A DRE machine, with a voter –verified paper trail, allows the voter to satisfy himself/herself that her voting preferences have been recognized correctly by the machine. 3. To overcome the abuses, and potential corruption, which may have occurred n 2016, this type of voting machine is essential to ensure a proper, honest vote for the citizens of New York State.
New York State currently, gives, each voter a round paper “stick on” with text, “I Voted”, on it. There are stacks of these at the voting tables, It is not actually a “receipt” from the voting machine acknowledging the vote and the candidate chosen. While this is a step in the right direction, clearly with the sophisticated technology used in voting (with potential for hacking) a better method of acknowledgement is necessary. Both DRE and VVPAT seem to provide what is necessary for a fair and honest vote in the State of New York.
Potential Voting Machine Hack/Attack
“…(Hackers) may gain access to the hardware or software of an individual machine or small number of machines and alter them, either by connection to ports and interfaces or by opening the machine by force or with the help of an insider who may have keys, along with manuals … source code.. any device that permits this, should be decertified immediately …
One solution is to ensure that all software needed to operate the machines, including the operating system, is not installed until election day … In this way no advance modification of any software would be fruitful. If this is deemed undesirable… a portion of the code can be loaded on election day and verify through message digest an encrypted checksums that none of the restored files have been altered.” 4.
In chosing a New York State vendor, we advise care, that the vendor be thoroughly vested. We think it would be wise to choose vendors with as few governmental connections, or political associations as possible.
The purpose of the Bill or Amendment is to both provide citizens, residents and governmental officials with an understanding of the technology that we, as citizens utilize, understand its dangers and to ensure a fair and honest vote for all New York citizens, who go to thepolls, on voting day.
We believe this is vital.
CIDNY and NYAIL Member
CIDNY, Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY
Paralegal, New York City
1. Pg. 1 https://billtotten.wordpress.com/page61/?archives-lists&archives-type=cats
2. Pg.2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter-verified paper audit trail
3. Pg. 1 https://www.cnet.com/news/high-hopes-for-unscrambling-the-vote
4. Pg. 2 https://www.cnet.com/news/high-hopes-for-unscrambling-the-vote