Thursday, January 24, 2008

NYS BOE Selects Voting Machines

Cross posted from The Albany Project

The Times Unions Capital Confidential blog is reporting that the State Board of Elections has agreed on three optical scan compatible machines as acceptable machines for the various county boards of election to select from.

BOE has chosen its voting machines…
January 24, 2008 at 11:30 am by Irene Jay Liu
…and the winners are:

Sequoia Imagecast, Premier Automark with modification requested by the Republicans, the ES&S Automark with modification requested by the Republicans.

All three machines are optical scan machines, none of them are DREs.

Counties must choose their machines by Feb. 8. In a funny twist of irony, if the counties do not choose by that deadline, then the state BOE will attempt to mediate between the two party commissioners to make a decision.

To be clear, this is the list of the approved vendors. Each county will be able to choose the machine they want from the approved list.

How this agreement came about after the debacle yesterday is unknown at this time.

The Times Unions report can be read here.

Bo Lipari of New Yorkers for Verified Voting reports on his observation of yesterdays events at the State Board of Elections on his blog.

Protecting vendors, not voters

"As I sit here, I’m embarrassed. I’m 56 years old, I have been a New Yorker for 56 years, and I’m embarrassed on behalf of the State of New York. I write these words tonight and they come from my heart, but I am not the first to say them. Today they come from me because I witnessed an appalling display of how willing are some in the State Board of Elections to represent the interests of DRE vendors, even when this directly conflicts with the interests of voters and the requirements of state law…"

Read the rest here....

For his reviews of the various machines submitted for consideration see this pdf report.

For the problems with the Liberty DRE that the Republicans tried to force on us yesterday see this pdf report.

More information to come but it looks like New York will be a PB/OS, paper ballot/optical scan voting system state.

Great work and huge congratulations to all the activists that have worked so hard the last few years to make this happen. And Thank you to Commissioner Doug Kellner for standing firm yesterday and working to bring this victory about.

This is just preliminary based on the brief entry on the TU blog but it appears that New York will be a paper ballot/optical scan voting state.


Let me qualify that... I believe that today's decision, which had a court ordered deadline of tomorrow, was in regard to ballot marking devices to made available for this years fall election cycle.

It is not the final decision.

I should make that clear. It is not the final decision. However, a significant amount of money is going to be spent on these ballot marking devices for this years election.

Reversing ground and later purchasing DRE's would (most likely) make this decision and these purchases redundant. In other words they would be deciding to throw these machines and this money away.

The impact of this decision is that it is now highly likely that New York State will later purchase the opscan machines that are compatible with these machines thereby locking New York state into a paper ballot, optical scan voting system.

I'll wait to hear official word from the Board and analysis from Bo but that is my preliminary take on what has just happened.

It appears that Liberty and Avanti, two DRE venors rejected by the State Board, will file a lawsuit.

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