The Waterdown Daily Times reports that Bo Lipari, the former executive director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting, has looked into Hoffman’s allegations about “viruses” on voting machines, and found them wanting. Mr. Lipari also delivers a stirring reminder of the value of electronic voting:
Because New York votes on paper, everybody’s vote was counted. When the scanner stopped working, the ballots were removed and counted, so no votes were lost. Paper ballots, a software independent record of the vote, proved their great value in their very first outing in the Empire State. Compare this to lever machines, where counters on the back would get stuck and wouldn’t turn when the vote is cast, something that occurred with far more frequency than most New Yorkers realize. When the counters on the back of a lever machines froze, a machine bug typically not discovered until the polls close, those votes were lost forever. More than a few lever machine elections had the incorrect candidate declared the victor as a result. When the scanner freezes, everyone knows about it, the machine is removed from service, and the paper ballots of those who have voted already and of those who will vote later in the day are sure to be counted. I’ll take paper any day.
The lever horror stories that Mr. Lipari refers to are quite real. In 2001 elections to the Common Council of the City of White Plains, a flaw in a single lever machine, where the machine simply stopped counting votes for one candidate, led to four years of litigation, and an eventual change in the seat’s occupant. Bad news.
Democracy only works when informed citizens push back against distortions and half-truths in the media. Thank you, Mr. Lipari, for doing your part.
I might also add that this blog came to the same conclusions as Mr. Lipari: tell your friends :).