Post Number: 11541
Best of Black Box? N/A
Votes: 0 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 8:51 am: ||
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Public citizens don't have a billions dollars in their back pockets to run statewide TV ads or send mailers or hire lobbyists to haunt the halls of the legislature, so it's not surprising that good bills, proposed in the public interest, can die a quiet little death. The first time.
BBV NEWS: The article below shows us three things:
(1) Civil rights leaders in the 60s had it right when they ASSUMED they would have to get bills resubmitted each year until they won, re-litigate cases until they won, keep after the press until they won;
(2) Citizens and citizen journalism, like Deborah Sumner and Black Box Voting, make a real difference. It was due to citizens and Black Box Voting that this bill got proposed at all;
(3) There are still legislators of courage, who have an understanding of what is in the public interest. Seth Cohn, who proposed the bill, is one.
And the article below shows us a rather unpleasant truth. While we want to have faith in our public officials, it is our duty as citizens not to assume that they will always be candid. Deputy Sec. State David Scanlan is quoted in one false statement after the next. I've marked falsehoods in RED.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE:
New Hampshire Union Leader - Feb 8, 2012, By GARRY RAYNO
Ballot inspection bill likely to die in House
CONCORD —An attempt to allow citizens to inspect ballots is likely to be killed today by the House.
House Bill 1548 would repeal the right-to-know exemption for ballots passed in 2003 after groups began asking the Secretary of State’s Office to review ballots when the retention period ended but before they were destroyed.
Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said, “After we started getting requests like that, the Legislature passed the exemption to place in statute what had been long-standing policy.”
The bill’s prime sponsor Rep. Seth Cohn, R-Canterbury, said he introduced the bill on behalf of groups looking into election fraud such as Black Box Voting.
“They raised their concerns and I thought they had a right to be heard,” Cohn said.
... Deborah Sumner of Jaffrey said the provision exempting ballots from the state’s right-to-know law was approved in 2003 without a full public discussion. This takes away the possibility of citizen oversight, she said, which could help prevent mistakes and protect against voter fraud.
“It’s all hidden from the public,” Sumner said. “There’s no valid reason for it.”
“(Currently) there are mechanisms for ballots to be reviewed,” Scanlan said, noting any candidate can request a recount, a precinct moderator can order a review if something unusual happens and any citizen can go to court.
“Clearly there are ballots that clearly identify how a voter cast (his or her) vote,” he said.
The House Election Law Committee voted 14-2 to recommend the bill be killed, saying every voter has a right to keep his or her ballot secret and private.
1. A "long standing policy" to violate Freedom of Information law, called Right to Know law in New Hampshire, is invalid on its face, if it existed at all.
2. His statement that "any candidate can request a recount" is particularly deceptive, since Scanlan himself was involved in supporting a law, which passed, that removed New Hampshire's long standing accessible recount laws. In fact, in the 2012 primary none of the presidential candidates except for (just barely) Ron Paul were allowed by law to request a recount. Had Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, or any other presidential candidate wanted to validate the count from the Diebold/Dominion/LHS Accuvote electronic counts, the recount would have been prohibited by current New Hampshire law.
3. "Any citizen" cannot go to court, and generally the courts dismiss citizen litigation on election counts, claiming citizens have no standing. In addition, the New Hampshire Constitution makes it clear that citizens should not have to sue to achieve their rights.
4. Ballot secrecy is not removed when the public can inspect ballots. Indeed, public inspections of ballots were done in Florida (2000) and Ohio (2004).