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Vendors Try an End Run Around NYS Election Law PDF  | Print |  Email
By Bo Lipari, New Yorkers for Verified Voting   
April 28, 2007
Uncertified DREs to be used in Troy School Election on May 15

 

This article was posted to Bo Lipari's Web log and is reposted here with permission of the author.

 

In a brazen attempt to get their uncertified DREs used in New York State, Liberty Election Systems and their Dutch partner Nedap made the City School District of Troy New York an offer they couldn’t refuse – use of 10 of their DREs in the upcoming May 15, 2007 School District Election at no cost to the district. Unfortunately, the LibertyVote/Nedap DRE has not completed New York State testing or met any of the State’s regulatory standards, and is not certified for use in the State by the New York State Board of Elections.

The voting machine vendors have been frustrated by their inability to meet New York’s high certification standards and source code escrow requirements. They’ve found a way to get around the testing halt instituted in January by NYS Board of Elections when the New York Times revealed that Ciber, the agency conducting New York’s tests, had lost federal accreditation six months earlier. Liberty Election Systems is preying upon cash strapped school districts, offering them free use of machines and support personnel to run their elections. Of course, Liberty doesn’t mention that their DREs haven’t passed state certification, have documented security vulnerabilities, and will be supported by Dutch technical staff working for Nedap.

 

Dutch Technicians to Oversee DREs in US Election

Liberty Election Systems is a privately held New York State corporation that markets the Dutch DREs here in the US. Liberty doesn’t do tech stuff; they handle the sales and marketing end. The Dutch company “Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek”, known as Nedap, provides the technical expertise; designing, writing and supporting all software and hardware. So far in New York State Nedap engineers have provided all technical oversight and support of the LibertyVote/Nedap DRE during tests, demonstrations, New York State Board of Elections meetings, you name it. But the election on May 15th isn’t a demo, it’s a real election with an $88.3 million dollar budget at stake. The technical advisors running the LibertyVote/Nedap DREs on Troy’s Election Day will be foreign citizens. Do we really want foreign nationals running voting machines in American elections?

In an article in the Albany Times Union, Liberty/Nedap dodges, implying this election will be as American as apple pie. It’s more like baloney - pure spin. Liberty should immediately provide the public a complete list of the names, companies, nationalities, and responsibilities of all personnel who will be in attendance and providing any form of support for the LibertyVote/Nedap DREs on the May 15th election.

 

False Claims in a Public Election Notice

 

Liberty has posted a troubling brochure on the Troy City School District website. The brochure contains numerous misleading statements and false claims (the biggest Big Lie – “The LibertyVote is not a computer...”) which we refute in this document. It’s outrageous that a private company can be given a role in a public election and then lie through their teeth on materials they distribute to the public. And for a taste of things to come as we increasingly put private vendors in charge of our elections, note the intermingling of private company promotion with official School District election information – a disturbing combination of public elections and corporate advertisement.

 

It Can Happen Here

 

In New York State, where citizens have fought with some success for a voice in the machine selection process, strict voting system standards, and independent oversight of voting machine vendors, it’s tempting to think that we have the hard work behind us. Not so. This back door effort to get around our hard won protections shows the voting machine vendors have no interest but their private interests, no interest in Election Law except in how it can be bypassed, and worst of all, absolutely no interest in the truth.

Citizens around the state are joining together right now to fight this in every way we can. I’ll be posting more to this blog in the next few days, and NYVV will be posting actions you can take to help prevent this end run around state regulations.

For starters, you can visit NYVV’s Troy School District Election Resource page, where we’ve posted much to help you understand what’s at stake. You can also join NYVV’s mailing list so you’ll receive updates and alerts as we face this new crisis in New York State’s struggle for secure and verifiable elections.

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