New York State Endorsers
Endorse the Statement on
a New Voting System for New York State
Download a printable version of the statement
1) As New York State moves to
replace our lever machines, we must choose a reliable, auditable,
secure, accessible and cost effective voting system.
The system that best satisfies these requirements is one using
paper ballots, counted either by hand or precinct based optical scanners.
Ballot marking devices can provide accessible, private and independent
voting for voters with disabilities and different language abilities.
Precinct based paper ballot/optical scan systems (PB/OS) will save
many millions of dollars in acquisition and maintenance costs when
compared to corresponding costs for DRE systems - and are far more
reliable and trustworthy!
New Yorkers deserve reliable voting equipment that instills confidence
and ensures transparent, publicly verifiable elections. Paper ballots
and precinct based optical scan are auditable, accessible, and cost
effective, and they provide protections against over-voting and under-voting.
They must be the voting system we choose for New York.
2) Purchasing touch screen voting
machines (DREs), even those equipped with voter verified paper
ballots, would be an unwise choice for New York State.
- DREs are not cost effective.
The full face ballot DREs required by New York State are far more
expensive than paper ballot/optical scan systems (PB/OS), and many
more machines must be purchased and maintained. New York will save
tens of millions of dollars in acquisition and maintenance costs
with optical scan systems.
- DREs are needlessly complex. Optically
scanned ballots are familiar to anyone who has taken a standardized
test. Contrast this with DRE interfaces which for many individuals,
especially the elderly, can be difficult to comprehend and use.
- DREs provide inferior verifiability
compared to an optical scan system. DREs with VVPB require
an additional, time consuming, and potentially difficult verification
step that requires comparing the touch screen ballot to the smaller,
harder to read thermally printed ballot. Paper ballot systems
are inherently voter verified, requiring no separate verification
- DREs provide inferior auditability
compared to an optical scan system. The thermally-printed
ballots produced by DREs with VVPB are difficult to read and
handle. When recounts are required, they will be far more difficult
for election officials to count and manage than a sturdy, easy
to read optical scan paper ballot.
- DREs require multiple ballot
types. Even with DREs, absentee and affidavit ballots
must still be printed, and the totals must be somehow added to
the DRE results. With PB/OS systems, the same ballot is used
for paper absentee ballots, which can all be scanned by the same
optical scanner. There is no need for multiple systems.
3) Paper ballots counted either by hand
or by precinct based optical scanners are a proven, mature, reliable,
and auditable technology.
- PB/OS systems are a proven,
tested technology. PB/OS is currently used in 25% of all
the precincts in the US. The states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota
and Ohio have all decided to use optical scanners to comply with
the Help America Vote Act.
- PB/OS systems are a reliable
technology. A report by CAL TECH/MIT (Residual Votes Attributable
to Technology), found that manually counted paper ballots have
the lowest average incidence of spoiled, uncounted, and unmarked
ballots, followed closely by optically scanned ballots. DREs
had significantly higher average rates of spoiled, uncounted
and unmarked ballots than any other systems.
- PB/OS systems are easy to use
and understand. Paper ballot systems are simple to fill
out and inherently voter verified. The time voters spend in the
voting booth will be greatly reduced, and training costs of poll
workers and voters will be less because of the simplicity of
4) Whenever computers are used in voting
systems, whether they are DREs or optical scanners, the following
safeguards are needed:
- All software used in electronic voting and ballot tabulation
equipment must be freely available for public examination.
- Wireless communication devices in voting and tabulating equipment
must be banned. Such devices allow malicious individuals or organizations
to access and modify the software and tallies in the tabulating
- Standards, procedures, and time-frames to guarantee voters and
candidates the right to petition for and obtain manual recounts
before certification of the winner of an election must be specified.
- Surprise recounts in a statistically meaningful number of randomly
selected precincts to compare optical scanner results to manual
counts of the paper ballots, not just when vote counts are challenged.
- A citizen's advisory committee, which shall at a minimum, include
election officials, representatives of the disabled community,
and independent computer professionals with no ties to voting machine
vendors, must make recommendations for the choice of voting system
Endorse the Statement on a New
Voting System for New York State
New Yorkers for Verified Voting
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter
Citizen Action of New York
NAACP Syracuse Onondaga County Branch, Syracuse NY
SEIU Local 200 United, Syracuse, NY
Citizens for Voting Integrity, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
Transparent Democracy, Westchester NY
Alliance for Democracy, Albany NY
Capital District chapter of Citizen Action of NY
Greater Corning-Elmira Chapter National Organization for Women, Elmira,
Bethlehem Neighbors for
Peace, Bethlehem NY
Finger Lakes Progressives, Watkins Glen NY
The Ithaca Action Network, Ithaca NY
Back to Democracy, Trumansburg NY
Committee for International Human Rights Inquiry, New York NY
Long Island Progressive Coalition, Huntington Chapter, Huntington NY
Action for Justice Committee, Community Church of New York
Saratoga Peace Alliance
The Verified Voting Foundation
Unitarian Universalists for Verified
Coalition for Visible
North Carolina Coalition for Verified
Equal Justice Foundation
National Ballot Integrity Project
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