Sunday, January 15, 2006

NYS Election Reform Groups React

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, January 12, 2006

NYS League of Women Voters, New Yorkers for Verified Voting
Say Department of Justice Action Makes
Selection of Optical Scan Voting System Essential

Election reform groups today reacted to the Department of Justice threat to sue New York State for HAVA non-compliance. Organizations opposed to electronic touchscreen voting systems (DREs), said the DOJ action makes the case for adopting optical scanners/ballot marking devices (PBOS) more compelling than ever.

Widespread concerns have been raised about the security, accuracy, and costs of electronic touchscreen voting systems by computer experts, legislators, and citizens. Optical scan systems, a reliable, mature, auditable and cost effective voting system, are being adopted in states around the United States to meet HAVA compliance and should be used in New York State as well.

“By moving quickly to certify precinct based optical scan voting systems which have already been federally approved New York State can be in full compliance with HAVA requirements.” said Aimee Allaud, Elections/Government Specialist of the League of Women Voters of New York State. “PBOS voting systems with the addition of a ballot marker will provide secure, accurate, recountable and accessible voting. DREs currently being demonstrated in NYS cannot, at present, meet that standard.”

“The impending action by the Department of Justice to enforce HAVA compliance makes it urgent that New York adopt optical scanners now.” said Bo Lipari, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting. “If the DOJ action results in New York’s loss of HAVA equipment funding, we would still be required to replace lever machines. But without HAVA funds, New York’s taxpayers will pay the full purchase cost out of their own pockets. Adopting optical scanners rather than touchscreen voting machines will save New Yorkers over $100 million dollars in acquisition costs. There are many excellent reasons for adopting scanners. More than ever, the scanner alternative has become a no-brainer.”

The groups called on the State and local Boards of Elections to adopt statewide use of optical scanners and ballot marking devices as New York’s plan for rapid HAVA compliance.

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