New York Will Vote on Paper

The New York State Board of Elections has approved three optical scan ballot machines for use by counties in New York.  This probably means that we'll be voting on paper ballots that will be scanned after marking, beginning in 2009.  Counties have until February 8 to make a final choice of one of the three approved devices.

Bo Lipari, executive director of the non-profit New Yorkers for Verified Voting, sent an email to the Albany Project describing the history of his organization's work against electronic voting machines.  It makes interesting reading, because if we had rushed the choice, we'd have been in the same situation as Maryland.


Assuming that this comes to pass, this is one of those moments when we can be proud and thankful for the work of activists and public officials in NY for being reasonable, tough and patient in the face of pressure from above, and ignorance and lassitude below.

I won't forget the Steuben county election officials response at a Diebold demo a couple of years ago when I asked how voters will know that their vote will be counted -- "Don't worry all the numbers just come out of the machine; it's real easy."

You're right. We could easily be another Florida or Maryland without the work of non-profits and good oversight by the state BOE.