Critics question integrity of new voting system

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.

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Two men nabbed for alleged crack cocaine sales

HUDSON—City police arrested two men they suspect of selling cocaine after executing a search warrant on the third floor at 409 Warren Street, July 23 at 2:26 p.m.
   Renell Herrington, 56, who lives at the raided residence, was taken into custody just outside the building. William Chester Morrison, 22, also of Hudson, was arrested inside the residence.

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Ancram ponders orphaning roads

ANCRAM–The Town Board is considering whether to cut back on the maintenance of several town roads or to abandon the roads entirely.

   The matter came up at the July 16 Ancram Town Board meeting. The roads under consideration are: Crest Lane Extension, Sheppard Road, Rothvoss Road, Ken’s Road, School House Road, Altenburg Road, Rabbit Tail Road, Stewart’s Road, Bash Road and portions of Sawchuck Road and Over Mountain Road.

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Trying to fly in Nature’s face

ANCRAMDALE–When I watch a great blue heron wing its way across the sky and hear its deep croak of a call as it passes overhead I imagine I have stepped back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

   Those pterodactyl-like creatures never cease to cast a time-machine spell over me.

   That’s why when I saw one crouched in a very compact posture on the ground it drew my attention.

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Hard times open doors


County , city see way to keep DSS offices in Hudson 

HUDSON–The county and city have reached an agreement to relocate the Department of Social services inside the city limits.

   The new proposal, announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, July 21, in the chambers of the county Board of Supervisors at 401 State Street, would scrap the controversial relocation of the department to the old Ockawamick School building in Claverack, and move the department into two buildings in the city already owned by the county: 610 State Street and the building where Tuesday’s announcement was made, the headquarters of the board at 401 State.


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