Sunday, July 5, 2009

6.25.09 Letter to Board of Supervisors

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors
Post Office Box 429
Schoharie, NY 12157

Honorable Supervisors,

The Voting Integrity Project is committed to supporting election integrity and strengthening our democracy. This we endeavor to accomplish through promotion of secure voting technologies and practices, advocacy for an informed and engaged electorate, and expansion of the franchise.

We had been working for several months to initiate a conversation with the Schoharie County Board of Elections and the county Board of Supervisors concerning the creation of a Citizen Advisory Board for Election Administration.

We began by requesting a meeting with the Board of Supervisors subcommittee responsible for oversight of the Board of Elections Department. We reasoned that, since there was a subcommittee charged with elections oversight it would be the logical starting point. It also seemed respectful and practical to recognize the subcommittee’s authority and introduce our proposal to them first.

We had hoped the Rules and Legislation subcommittee would appreciate that a Citizen Advisory Committee could be an aid in the accomplishment of their oversight responsibilities while at the same time assisting the Board of Elections. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.

After our initial meeting with the Rules & Legislation Committee months passed while we waited for a follow-up meeting with Board of Elections representatives to be arranged by the committee Chairman. Finally, after more than three months, the R&L Chairman advised that the Election Commissioners had refused to meet with us and that the Rules and Legislation Committee was in agreement with their decision.

While it is very disappointing to be unable to engage county legislators and department heads as we had hoped, the Voting Integrity Project will nevertheless continue to strive for improved election integrity, voter confidence and citizen participation in the democratic process.

In the next few months the Voting Integrity Project will offer the Board of Supervisors observations and specific suggestions concerning election administration which we hope will be received in the same spirit as they are offered, a spirit of community, shared responsibility and respect for democratic principles.

For the Voting Integrity Project, Peacemakers Action Committee Co-signers

Susan Spivack
Nancy Sheehan
Katherine Hawkins
Wayne R. Stinson, Coordinator Ann C. Adams
Cynthia Wilson
CC: Board of Elections
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

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