perfect, but it is abundantly clear that ginning up paranoia about systemic fraud is little more than still another diversion from enunciating the positions and ideas candidates have on issues voters truly care about,” state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill said in a prepared statement.
“I am confident that here in New York state and in the Hudson Valley, under the direction and supervision of the bipartisan state Board of Elections and the watchful eye of our bipartisan local boards and engaged citizens, the will of those who can cut through the bramble of misinformation and take the time to vote will be fully expressed in the results,” said Cahill, D-Kingston, who served as an Assembly representative on the joint Legislative Conference Committee reviewing the Help America Vote Act.
The assemblyman said that as a result of the voting act, “old, broken down, prone-to-tampering lever voting machines were replaced with sophisticated, easy-to-use, verifiable paper voting systems.”
Cahill is up for re-election next month in the 103rd Assembly District, challenged by Republican Jack Hayes.
Cahill said he sees Trump’s complaints as being more about media coverage
than election fraud.
But quite contrary to Trump’s suggestion of a media conspiracy against his candidacy, Cahill blamed media coverage for Trump having ascended to the GOP nomination in the first place.
The assemblyman then contrasted what he said was Trump’s free media ride to what he said was unfair coverage by the Freeman of his role in an Ulster County sales tax controversy.
Cahill said that, in his case, his subsequent reelection proved the voting public is smart enough to “[see[ the truth underneath the negative barrage” of unfair coverage.
Dain Pascocello, campaign mananger for MidHudson congressional candidate John Faso, said the Faso camp believes the election will be above board.
“We’re confident of an honest election in our district,” Pascocello said. “That said, we’ll monitor polls on Election Cay as we normally do to ensure everyone follows the rules.”
Faso, a Columbia County Republican, is running against Dutchess County Democrat Zephyr Teachout for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat.
Conor Gillis, a spokesman for state Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, said his boss also is confident the election will be on the up and up.
“Senator Bonacic has the
utmost respect for the hardworking men and women of our local boards of elections and believes that they will oversee a fair election,” Gills said in an email.
Bonacic is running against Democrat Pramilla Mali for the state’s 42nd Senate District seat.
Marco Caviglia, Dutchess County’s Democratic elections commissioner, said Trump’s contentions about voter fraud are “a lot of hyperbole.”
“What evidence does he have of that?” Caviglia said Monday. “When somebody says its rigged, you know, [that] is such a general statement [and] you don’t even know what he is referring to.”
In a detailed explanation, Caviglia went through a litany of precautions that election boards take to prevent voting from being rigged, not the least of which is that they are overseen by bipartisan leadership.
“The two major parties are charged with doing every step together,” he said.
Caviglia also said a vigorous preparatory system is in place in which voters are checked to determine if they are eligible to participate.
And, he said, there are “multiple internal steps on Election Day that account for every single vote, absentee ballot — everything, even void ballots and even scattered ballots. We account for every single thing right down to the pens that are sent to the polls.”
Caviglia said election inspectors are stationed at every polling place to answer voters’ questions and that a chain-of-command procedure is strictly followed. He also noted that anyone who attempts voter fraud is subject to prosecution.
Caviglia, who has served as an elections commissioner for three years, said there have been no such prosecutions during his tenure.
Caviglia said the current method of voting is better than online voting because computer systems can be hacked.
He described the current system as “unhackable.”
Caviglia said the Board of Elections guards ballots long after Election Day.
“We save every ballot, the actual ballot,” he said. “Each machine is equipped with ... a system that automatically tabulates how many people voted, how many people submitted a ballot.”
Thomas Turco, the Republican elections commissioner in Ulster County, said of Trump’s claim of a rigged election: “We have no reason to respond as we do not have rigged elections.”
Turco said there are “too many fail-safes to mention ... to be confident the security of the voting is guaranteed.”
He said, though, that explaining the Board of Elections’ step-by-step process :would take way too long,” and he referred a reporter to state Election Law.