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New York State Status

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Will New York Choose Touch Screen Voting Machines?
NYS HAVA implementation plan
New York State Legislation
The Certification Process

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NYS Status Report
The decision to allow each individual county make it's decisions about voting equipment complicates matters for citizens advocating for adoption of paper ballots and optical scanners.

Decisions about whether to replace lever machines with DREs or optical scanners now lies with county election officials, and to a lesser extent to county budgetary authorities ( i.e., county executives, legislators, city councils, etc.

Voting machine vendors lobbyists have fanned out all over the state and are meeting with county officials RIGHT NOW. They are promulgating much misinformation about touchscreen/pushbutton style machines and trying to influence the counties to not consider optical scan systems.

In spite of the lobbyists influence, we have succeeded in getting paper ballots and optical scan systems on the table in New York. We have won support in the media, where new articles appear every day in favor of PBOS. Important state organizations have endorsed PBOS.

But the fight for adoption of optical scan at the county level is a difficult one. We need your help.

Please take action today.

Endorsements for Paper Ballots in New York State
On March 9, we won key endorsements for adoption of PBOS from the New York Times and the League of Women Voters of New York State. Other groups have endorsed NYVV's "Statement on a New Voting System for New York State". If your organization would like to join the list of endorsers, please review the statement here:

Find out more at the Paper Ballots for New York home page.
Take Action Now, time is running out! Find out what you need to do.
Read about the many advantages of Paper Ballot/Optical Scan systems over DREs.
Read about the cost advantages of Paper Ballot/Optical Scan systems over DREs.

Will New York Choose Touch Screen Voting Machines?
New York State will soon make choices about the new voting systems which will replace our current mechanical lever machines in 2006. It is vital that the state investigate all voting systems that are compliant with the Help America to Vote Act (HAVA). But so far, we haven't done that.

Board of Election officials who will make certify new voting equipment seem to favor electronic touch screen voting machines (DREs). But, there are other HAVA compliant voting systems that offer many advantages over DREs.

A viable, cost effective voting system alternative which is fully accessible to voters with disabilities employs paper ballots and precinct-based optical scanners, augmented by ballot marking devices to provide accessibility to the disabled.

Why aren't paper ballot/optical scan systems being considered for New York when they offer reliable, auditable, and accessible voting at a fraction of the cost of DREs?

One reason may be that voting machine vendors have hired high-powered lobbyists to sway the state Legislature as it prepares to overhaul New York's election system. Millions of public dollars and the soundness of the election process are at stake. Our lawmakers should be making decisions with voters first in mind.

New Yorkers need to alert their local county officials and the media tell them there are superior alternatives to DREs. Let NYS officials know that New Yorkers want to vote in 2006 on paper ballots.

New Yorkers must consider the benefits of paper ballots and precinct based optical scan voting systems. We must make the right choice for New York.

NYS HAVA implementation plan
New York's HAVA implementation plan task force, headed by Peter Kosinski, issued an implementation plan in August 2003 that was widely criticized for it's lack of detail. While the Plan reiterates HAVA’s requirements and frequently speaks laudably of New York State’s commitment to comply with HAVA, it includes few details about how New York’s state and local election officials will implement HAVA requirements.

The thin-on-details, 51-page implementation plan provides no answers to such questions as what sort of voting machines will be permitted as the state moves to replace almost 20,000 lever-action machines. As a result, lobbyists for voting-machine companies already are gearing up to influence how policy-makers fill in the blanks.

The failure to articulate a true plan of action leaves far too much to the sole discretion of the staff of the New York State Board of Elections, without public comment or participation. The Plan also failed to identify numerous areas where implementation of HAVA will require state legislation, and failed to endorse or advance necessary legislation. In sum, the Plan is no plan at all.

Minority members of the report were so upset with the State Implementation plan that they released a separate report.

The NYS HAVA implementation report can be downloaded here:
http://www.elections.state.ny.us/hava/draft_plan.pdf [this remote document is no longeer accessible]

And the minority report can be downloaded here:
http://www.brennancenter.org/programs/downloads/NYS_HAVA_Minority_Report-Offical.pdf

State Legislation
The State Legislature introduced and passed their HAVA bills in June 2005.


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