Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Republican appointee owned by Liberty

Cross posted from The Albany Project

The Times Unions Capital Confidential is reporting in a series of blogs on today's meeting of the State Board of Elections.

Friday is the deadline for the State to report to the Court/DoJ on selection of ballot marking devices to be made available for this years election.

Newly appointed Republican Commissioner Todd Valentine is holding up the works insisting that an apple be called an orange... um... an apple be called a pc... uh... a DRE be called a ballot marking device. DRE's are not ballot marking devices. They are DRE's.

Democratic Co-Chair Doug Kellner flatly refuses to allow Liberty lobbyist Valentine to stick New York with these faulty machines.

With over 100 citizens and activists in attendance the natives are getting restless as the meeting is being delayed.

It appears that the reason for the hold-up at the BOE meeting is because the Republicans want a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) made by Liberty to be approved.

Democratic appointee Douglas A. Kellner is being pressured to approve the system, but he said “I will not vote for a DRE.”

Voting integrity advocates, including the NY League of Women Voters, have raised deep concerns over the the DRE technology. California State purchased DRE voting machinese with their federal dollars, but discontinued their use after problems surfaced.

Todd Valentine, the newly appointed co-executive director (Republican appointee) offered a deal to Kellner. In short, the Republicans will make quorum for the vote, if Kellner agrees to accept Liberty, according to Kellner.

Kellner declined the offer. He is currently up in his hotel room, waiting until the Republicans are ready to meet.

The Republican board members and staff are currently caucusing in a room adjacent to the main meeting space.

The second Democratic Commissioner, Evelyn J. Aquila, is not in attendance today, as she is recovering from surgery.

Your Liberty Lobbying Dollars at work.

For more background on the issue please see New Yorkers for Verified Voting, Bo Lipari's blog, a letter yesterday to the SBOE from the Brennan Center, and the Brennan Center's blog.

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