Friday, January 06, 2006

New York State Selects New Voting Machines for 2006

Yesterday, Green Party members viewed seven voting machines on display at the Monroe County Fair Grounds. Four venders brought prototypes of voting machines they hope to have certified and purchased by New York State to be used in this years election.

New York State is in the process of choosing new voting machines for the 2006 election year. New York State must have new voting machines in place for the 2006 elections in order to receive Federal funding under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. The New York State Senate,and Assembly and the New York State Board of Elections have been slow to start the process and has failed to act on community feedback thus far. Currently we are in the public comment period (ending January 23, 2006) in regards to proposed voting machines regulations to meet the HAVA requirements.

After the public comment period NYS will finalize the regulation and begin the certification process. Vendors will be allowed to submit any voting machine for certification, if the NYS BOE deems the submitted machine in compliance with the regulations they machines will be certified for use in NYS Elections.

Once NYS has certified a voting machine local BOE's may purchase the certified machines for NYS Elections. The 14 county Region 6 that makes up Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates) has deferred the decision for the entire region to the Monroe County Board of Elections Commissioners, Republican Commissioner Peter Quinn, and Democrat Commissioner Tom Ferrarese.

After a voting machine is selected and purchased for the region, the voting machines must be manufactured. Many of the companies hoping to have a machine certified have vowed to manufacture the voting machines in Western New York State, though none currently manufacture voting machines in upstate New York. After the voting machines are manufactured and distributed, each machine must be independently tested to ensure that every function on the machine works correctly.

All of this will have to be completed by mid-July to allow for an intense voter education program so that voters and poll workers will understand how to properly use the new machines prior to the September Primary.

Please send comments, questions and concerns to:

New York State Board of Elections
40 Steuben Street
Albany, New York 12207
TTY 1-800-533-8683

The Monroe County Board of Elections
39 West Main Street
Rochester, New York 14614
Phone: (585) 428-4550
TTY (585) 428-2390

Jason Nabewaniec, Co-Chair of the Green Party of Monroe County attended the demonstration, as well as, Vice-Chair, Deborah Magone-Fragale (accompanied by two other generations of Magone's), and Steering Committee Members, Chris Hilderbrant, David Atias and Ariel White.

The 4 companies demonstrating machines were:

1. Sequoia

AVC Advantage
Full Faced DRE

Optical Scan

You decide: does it look more like a trash can or the Power Droid from Star Wars?

They also offered a full Face touch screen voting machine, but no product information was given and no website has been developed yet.

2. Election Systems & Software

Model 100 Precinct Ballot Counter with AutoMark Voter Assisted Terminal
Optical Scan with Ballot Marker

Full Face Touch Screen

3. Liberty Election Systems

Full Face DRE

4. Danaher

ELECTronic 1242
Full Face DRE


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