They say that certain electronic voting equipment isn't safe from hacking. Damon Circosta claims it is. The letter warns that the rights of the people to fair elections isn't being properly shielded, and those rights should come first, and pronto.
"The certification of the voting systems occurred August 23, only 10 days ago. The State Board should immediately revisit the decision before counties and vendors expend resources and make expensive irreversible decisions based on flawed certifications."
To recap recent history: It was a surprise 3-2 SBOE decision on August 23rd, with newly appointed Democratic Chair Circosta joining the two Republican members in opposing a motion made by Democrat Stella Anderson to demand voter-readable proof of ballot choices from electronic machinery. Anderson and fellow Democrat Jeff Carmon were voted down. Virtually every progressive in the state went "Huh?" Some went stronger. It's written up here.
Advocates who signed the letter:
Marilyn Marks, Coalition for Good Government, CharlotteThey ask that the hearing on Thursday not limit public comment and that each speaker -- many of them experts who'll be brought in by the advocate groups listed above -- be given 3 minutes instead of 2.
Susan Greenhalgh, National Election Defense Coalition, New York
Lynn Bernstein, Transparent Elections NC, Cary
In its most potentially litigious passage, the letter warns the board that excessive use of closed attorney-client meetings, with the public shut out of the discussion, will be challenged:
"...There is no pending litigation that would justify closed door litigation strategy discussions with the Board’s attorneys. The topics that are so sensitive as to require private sessions are quite limited when it comes to the public’s voting systems. Any attempt to liberally construe the Board’s opportunity to conduct executive sessions without strict compliance with the law will be carefully monitored and subject to legal challenge."
If stuff gets discussed in executive sessions, it'll take a whistle-blower on the inside to demand the sun shine in. No one on the outside of those meetings will know what's being said.
The meeting in Raleigh on Thursday is at 1:00 pm in the Dobbs Building. Anyone can listen by phone, and it's free: Dial: (415) 655-0052 and enter on prompt the Code: 212-929-441.