NEW YORK CITY–A group of election experts, including Columbia County Election Commissioner Virginia Martin(D), met earlier this month at St. Mark’s Church in the East Village to discuss their concerns about the state’s impending switch to new optical scanner voting machines.
“I came to this event because I find the input of this community of voting experts invaluable,” said Ms. Martin.
The occasion was a panel discussion featuring Douglas Kellner, co-chairman of the state Board of Elections; Mark Crispin Miller, NYU professor and author of Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too (Unless we Stop Them); and attorney Andi Novak, founder of the Election Transparency Coalition NY, who hopes to mount a constitutional challenge to HAVA.
Despite the title of Prof. Miller’s book, the skepticism about the new voting systems cuts across party lines, and speakers at the meeting were not in agreement on all points. But all three share a passion for protecting the integrity of the election process. They believe electronic voting machines have significant drawbacks and two of the speakers want to keep the familiar lever-operated machines. That sentiment is shared officially by over 20 New York counties. Columbia County was among the first to join the movement in support of retaining the mechanical machines last January.