An Objection to HAVA

I just got off the phone with Steven Schlesinger, managing partner at the law firm where Democratic state Senate candidate Craig Johnson is of counsel.

Schlesinger, who said he’s been an election lawyer since around the time Johnson (and I) were born, said he has spoken out about (but not litigated on) the Help American Vote Act, which is having trouble getting through Albany.

The a bill is supposed to upgrade mechanical voting machines around the state with electronic voting machines and avoid the kind of mayhem that existed with those hanging chad things in Florida.

Schlesinger says that HAVA is not the solution.

“I think there is need for election law reform but I’m not sure HAVA is a perfect bill,” he said.

“In my mind it was a rushed bill to address a problem but I don’t think it was completely thought through. It’s well intended but needs fixing.”

What specifically?

“From what I’ve seen empirically, the places that rushed and bought machines for the last election had serious problems,” he said. “So I think passing a statute saying you have to do it real quick, until these machines are tested and proven, is pretty stupid.”

— Azi Paybarah

An Objection to HAVA