Although Councilman Simcha Felder joined yesterday’s rally criticizing the way the city’s Board of Elections is testing new voting machines under the Help America Vote Act, he ended up protesting the rally itself.
HAVA is the federal law that funds upgrades in local voting machines so hanging chads and punch cards will be a thing of the past. Albany didn’t agree on how exactly to comply with HAVA until recently. Now, some worry that the new voting machines will only face their first real test in 2008, during the presidential primaries.
At the rally, Felder and others said the upgrades in voting technology were desperately needed. Councilman Oliver Koppell took it one step further, connecting the need for new voting machines here to allegations that the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were basically stolen in places like Ohio and Florida, which use not-so-tech-savvy voting machines.
Upon hearing this, Felder turned and walked away from the crowd, saying in a stage whisper, “I don’t believe that.”
— Azi Paybarah