The state Supreme Court judge hearing Nassau County’s case against the NY State Board of Elections last week authorized Nassau County, as part of the discovery process, to have ES&S electronic vote-counting machines tested by an independent lab in Connecticut.
In delivering this order the judge affirmed many of the constitutional issues which ETC has articulated, finding that, among other things, “the Legislature may not adopt policies which deprive voters of crucial protections under the New York State Constitution,” and “any burden on the State is far outweighed by the public’s interest in the right to cast a meaningful vote and its right to know whether the new machines jeopardize the security and integrity of New York’s electoral process.”
Responding to the court ruling in a press statement, Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli said, “It is my firm belief that these new voting machines adversely affect voters… in their ability to cast their votes and have them count. In addition, in my opinion, the new voting equipment is an invitation to high tech and low tech fraud. Finally these voting systems will explode the cost of running elections by a multiple of as much as ten times the cost of running an election on our reliable lever machines.”
Nassau is among a minority of New York counties to have opted for the ES&S optical scan machines, one of two systems certified for use in NY by the State Board of Elections. The ruling only applies to the machines of the petitioning county (Nassau). This currently leaves the Dominion system, which was chosen by the majority of New York counties, exempt from independent testing.
Most of the twenty counties (see sidebar for list) that passed resolutions expressing concerns about the optical scan voting systems and petitioning to retain their lever machines are scheduled to use Dominion Optical Scanners in fall elections. ETC urges these counties to join the Nassau suit so that all the voting machines will be subjected to independent professional scrutiny.
Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli’s press statement and the full court ruling can be read here: Nassau Discovery Ruling & Statement.