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Green Party (NY) Urges a Full Hand Count of Ballots in 7th Senate District

Green Party of New York

Image via Wikipedia

The Green Party of New York said today that it supported a full recount of the votes in the contested race for New York State Senate District 7.

Jeff Peress, a Nassau County State Committee representative to the Green Party of New York State, stated that though he “did not care for any of the candidates” but that we need a “physical recount” and to “carefully compare it to the machines. ” Peress said he would “call on all Nassau Green Party members to watch the votes at the Board of Elections.”

Peress continued that “even if Martins is declared a winner, I am pretty disappointed at Judge Ira Warshawski who I thought would not tend the party line. I honestly thought that Warshawski would be independent and allow the full recount. ”   He said that Warshawski:

was elected to the Supreme Court position back in 1997 and appointed to the appellate term. He is up for relelection this year and if he is under the age of 70 he can still run again. His term expires soon and I ask that Nassau and Suffolk residents vote him out if he seeks reelection so the governor can appoint someone else.

Republican Jack Martins has a 415 vote lead of incumbent Craig Johnson, with 81,667 votes counted in the machine tally. Of the seven machines audited in this particular race, three had errors — a machine error rate of 43%. Johnson’s petition for a full recount was recently rejected by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

Old School Voting.  The way it should be.

Image by Just Us 3 via Flickr

“The Green Party has always stood for the principle that every vote should be counted in an election. If the US is going to call itself a democracy, voters need to be confident that the person declared the winner actually received the most votes. It is one of the reasons we have supported the use of paper ballots. In light of the closeness of the vote and the fact that the accuracy of the new optical scan vote counting system has not yet been fully tested, we believe that is in the public interest to have at least one election in the state where a full hand count is done of all ballots. The 7th Senate District appears to be ideal case and we join with groups like Common Cause in urging the Court of Appeals to support a full vote recount,” said Howie Hawkins, co-chair of the State party.

Hawkins, the recent Green Party candidate for Governor, said that he was suspicious how after the NYC Board of Elections reported they had “lost” 200,000 votes on election night, their “final” recount of the machines plus the addition of all the paper ballots concluded that the Greens had gained only 395 votes from the election night tally (even though no paper ballots were counted on election night). The gain of votes was only 0.2% of the 195,055 “found” votes, compared to the percentages reported for the Green Party on election night (Queens: 0.7%, Brooklyn: 1.0%, Staten Island: 0.6%, Manhattan: 1.2%, Bronx: 0.5%). The Greens actually “lost” votes in Brooklyn and Bronx.

“We find it strange that while the basis of representative government is accurate counting of votes, NY election officials often try to block full recounts as being too costly or time-consuming. Getting the results right is far more important than speed or cost and crucial to the integrity of any democracy. While American politicians do not hesitate to question the results of an election in another country where the government refuses to count the votes, here it is seen as an inconvenience. It is time to end that hypocrisy and solidify full, transparent vote-counting in all elections,” added Peter LaVenia, the other party co-chair.

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