Good news from New Mexico, New York

Two new items:
I.
Good News – We are FINALLY on the agenda!
Monday, January 23rd, 2006.
County Board meeting starts at 5:30 PM.
Please come and speak AT THE START OF THE MEETING, in favor of Resolution No. 206019
URGE NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF ELECTION TO ENSURE A CHOICE OF PAPER BALLOT OPTICAL SCAN VOTING MACHINES FOR DUTCHESS COUNTY
We support this resolution. It says the County Legislature wants the State to absolutely make sure that optical scanners will be certified. (If no vendor offers them, our election commissioners effectively must choose DREs). In other words, a vendor will NOT be allowed to offer only DRE if they also have a scanner to sell as well.
II

COURT PERMITS LOPATEGUI VOTING
MACHINE LAWSUIT TO GO FORWARD
Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 19 – On January 18, 2006, New Mexico District Judge Eugenio Mathis authorized the plaintiff voters in Lopategui v. Vigil-Giron, et al. to proceed with the collection of evidence and preparation for a trial in which plaintiffs will seek a permanent injunction against use of inaccurate and unreliable electronic voting machines in New Mexico elections. At an afternoon hearing in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Judge Mathis denied a motion for summary judgment filed by defendant Rebecca Vigil-Giron, the Secretary of State, seeking to dismiss the lawsuit. He also lifted a stay of discovery he had imposed in December, 2005. Finally, Judge Mathis granted motions to be dismissed from the lawsuit that had been filed by the county clerk defendants, but only on the condition that they agreed to be bound by any injunction subsequently issued against the Secretary of State.
The court’s rulings are a victory for the plaintiffs, who may now subpoena testimony, documents, and voting machine inspections. The new evidence will augment the substantial evidence plaintiffs have already amassed of the inaccuracy and unreliability of electronic voting systems used in New Mexico elections.
In the meanwhile, an agreement remains in effect that temporarily prevents the Secretary of State from spending millions of dollars on hundreds of additional Sequoia AVC Edge touch screen voting machines. The agreement was negotiated between attorneys for the plaintiffs and for the Secretary of State prior to the January 18th hearing. The agreement will remain in effect until the court rules on the matter, probably in late February or early March.
On January 12, 2006, Governor Bill Richardson announced a plan to convert all of New Mexico to voting on optically-scanned paper ballots. Plaintiffs support rapid adoption, funding and implementation of the plan. Unless and until that occurs, however, plaintiffs intend to push forward with the lawsuit as the only means to assure that inaccurate and unreliable electronic voting systems are never used again in a statewide New Mexico election.
Voter Action is a project of the International Humanities Center www.voteraction.org

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