I just finished reading your book this week. I had been paying attention to the issue of electronic voting machines and I have been advocating for paper ballots at my county legislature (with some success until the state grabbed the issue back out of the hands of the counties) but I had not been focusing on the fraud aspect in my presentations. While the fraud of the 2004 election left me paralyzed for a few months after the election, I then determined that I would focus my energies on media reform and since August have been very busy starting a media reform group up in and around the area where I live. I have found other activists and we have started Northeast Citizens for Responsible Media which is another story and not the point of this e-mail. Organizing and creating this group though has been so time consuming that I was taken away from focusing specifically on the issue of fraud in the elections, until now–when your book brought me back. I had already read and heard many interviews with you which were so gratifying to those of us who think alike, but your book rather excellently pulls it all together in a motivating and compelling way.
I started looking at some legal cases this afternoon, after seeing that some people in Pennsylvania had commenced litigation for a constitutional violation of the PA Constitution. I was wondering what if any litigation has been contemplated or commenced by anyone in NYS. I have asked Bo Lipari about legal action in the past, but that doesn’t seem to be where they’re focusing their energy. I was hoping you might know what, if anything, is being done on that front or who I might contact to find out.
I assume that there are groups perusing this avenue in state court, but I just thought I’d check in. There’s such excellent language in some of the case law. This was from a very old decision and is great:
“The object of elections is to ascertain the popular will and not to thwart it. The object of election laws is to secure the rights of duly qualified electors and not to defeat them. Statutory regulations are enacted to secure freedom of choice and to prevent fraud, and not be technical obstructions to make the right of voting insecure and difficult.”
That was cited in a 1898 Court of Appeals decision which reflected on the new Election Law which was designed to remedy the evils of the old law, in which the election inspectors created a statement of results immediately following the election and then destroyed the ballots, depriving anyone from making a determination as to whether fraud may have been committed or as the Court described it, making it “exceedingly difficult to make the necessary proofs in the absence of record evidence“. The case goes on to talk about the responsibility of officials and officers or persons permitted to be at the polling places so that one is double checking the other in order to fulfill the Legislature’s intention “to protect the canvass of votes so that the recorded will of the people may not be thwarted by the errors or frauds of the inspectors of election”.
Of course there are plenty of cases referring to the duty of inspectors –elected or appointed, accountable to the state, which these private DRE corporations of course would violate. Lacking this kind of evidence and accountability would deprive the courts of their jurisdiction to review these cases as well. Referring to the court’s authority, the court in a 1967 Court of Appeals decision (which referred to the 1898 case-so it’s withstood the test of time, as we like to say in defense of these very old cases) notes that if the court is to change a result, “it must do so on a record which will show reliably that the board on recanvass has been mistaken in its result.” DREs and their secret code deprive citizens of their ability to provide the evidence to the court.
Then I thought before I stay up all night reading election case law, I should find out whose already working on this and if not, why not. So I was hoping you might know.
Thanks for your book. It was inspiring as it was depressing.