Connecticut pulls back from the abyss

Two important items here:

1. From Mary Ann Gould of the PA Coalition for Voting Integrity:

As the Coalition for Voting Integrity prepares to enter suit to preserve the security of our voting and retain existing voting machines preferably or at least have time to get better voting machines rather than the current rush to meet an arbitrary deadline, it is of special interest to note that the State of Connecticut – with whom we have been working and sharing information – has decided that HAVA allows them to keep existing voting machines thru at least 2006 and that the Department of Justice will work with them on this action. (See story below)

Why shouldn’t Pennsylvania voters have the same opportunity?

Why should we be forced to spend millions upon millions for machines that our own government (GAO) recently found “significant concerns about the security and reliability of electronic voting systems” (p. 22). GAO indicated that “some of these concerns have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes” (p. 23).

Let’s stop this waste…this threat now! If you don’t want to vote on machines where there is no way to prove your vote, where programming is done by vendors, then let’s get Pennsylvania to join CT.

Let’s keep existing voting machines!

Please circulate this email to all concerned citizens and groups. We need support and contributions of even the smallest amount for our legal action being filed this week.

It’s your vote …your taxpayer money…our Democracy!

Time to take action NOW! A small contribution may save you tax dollars and even more importantly the 2006 election integrityÉand your vote!

Please send checks to Coalition for Voting Integrity -legal

Coalition for Voting Integrity, P.O. Box 536, Doylestown, PA 18901. Or contribute now online: http://www.coalitionforvotingintegrity.org

2. From courant.com

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State Scraps Bid Process For New Voting Machines
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The Hartford Courant

January 4, 2006, 1:24 PM EST

Connecticut voters will have to use the state’s old lever voting machines for one more election.

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said today that she is delaying by one year plans to buy new computerized voting machines.

The state learned recently that the company it had tentatively chosen to supply the new machines had not obtained the necessary federal certification.

The federal Help America Vote Act requires states to use voting machines that are handicapped accessible and product a paper audit trail.

The state plans to contact all voting machine companies across the country and ask them to apply or reapply to provide new machines.

Bysiewicz said she hopes that new electronic voting machines will be in place for the 2007 election.

The state’s decision to stop the procurement process comes after a federal agency said Connecticut’s old mechanical machines do not comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which requires voting machines to be fully accessible to disabled voters.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office has contacted the U.S. Department of Justice to make sure it understands Connecticut’s situation and does not penalize the state for the delay.

“We’re satisfied that this decision is legally sound,” he said, referring to Bysiewicz’s decision to stop the process.

In a letter to state officials, the Department of Justice said it is willing to “work cooperatively with Connecticut” on achieving full compliance with the federal law.

An Associated Press report is included
Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant

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