You may have seen the article in today's Times. The complaint as filed is here.
The Times does a decent job of explaining the issue. As we've blogged before, this is a big but very basic problem, with a simple solution.
The only other time these voting machines have been used in the same way in a major election -- same confusing message, ballot not automatically rejected (13 counties in Florida in 2008) -- they produced overvote rates almost 14 times higher than expected, with thousands of votes for the presidential contest rejected – in comparison to almost no votes rejected in the 36 counties that automatically returned the ballots. Evidence shows that African Americans and Latinos, in particular, were disproportionately impacted by the lack of overvote protection.
The solution: the State and City Board can fix this problem by checking a box in the setup files that would automatically reject overvoted ballots. Despite numerous attempts by the
In today’s New York Times, New York State Election Board spokespersons took issue with the Brennan Center’s proposed fix, arguing that in order to reset the machines, it would take a months of testing and that they would have to re-program thousands of machines.
That's simply not true. Numerous sources, including the State Board, the voting machine vendor and independent computer scientists have confirmed to us in the last several months that requiring the machines to return overvote ballots requires only "checking a box" in the setup file for these systems. These machines were built to allow the City and State Board to do this at anytime. It will not cause delay to do the right thing.