Dear Commissioners,Deputy Commissioners We are concerned citizens of the State of New York as well . We don\'t want electronic voting machines here. We are writing to ask you to use all your power and influence to keep electronic voting out of the Counties. We love computers but we don\'t believe that computers are the right technology to use in elections: observers cannot effectively observe the storage, handling or counting of votes. Even voters themselves cannot observe their own ballot being recorded and cast electronically. To comply with the Help America Vote Act, please work for transition to paper ballots, precinct-based optical scanners, and Automark ballot-marking machines for voters with special needs. WHAT DO WE WANT - WE WANT 1. To use Paper Ballots and Optical Scanners (called PBOS) We want the County Board of Elections to switch to paper ballots. Most voters would use a pencil to darken in a little circle next to the name of their candidate. The PBOS solution requires each polling place to have an optical scanner. This machine can check the ballot for mistakes, and if it is marked wrong the voter would get to correct it. The optical scanner also provides precinct tallies at the end of the election day. The PBOS solution also requires each polling place to have an Automark machine. The Automark enables voters with special needs to mark their ballot privately and independently. The Automark has headphones and can read the ballot to voters who are blind; has various gadgets attached for use by voters with other disabilities; and can display the ballot in many languages. ALTHOUGH WE WANT OPTICAL SCANNING MACHINES WE DO NOT WANT THEM MADE BY DIEBOLD. Diebold\'s opti-scan (paper ballot) voting system uses a curious memory card design, offering penetration by a lone programmer such that standard canvassing procedures cannot detect election manipulation. ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES Electronic voting costs more than the federal money we will get! Our State Board of Elections budget specified $140 million for new voting equipment, but electronic voting machine purchase alone would cost $230 million. By comparison, PBOS would cost $114 million (less than half), leaving us with enough money to meet other federal requirements: Electronic voting $230,473,000 Optical Scan (PBOS) $114,423,640 SAVINGS from Optical Scan $116,049,360 Electronic voting continuing costs (for maintenance and use) have been as much as $5.6 million more per year per county in other states. Replacement costs: Optical Scanners last about 15 years, but electronic voting systems last only 5 years. When evoting machines have to be replaced, taxpayer money will be needed to replace them. ADA Compliance Measures by Bev Harris & Kathleen Wynne To comply with disability requirements, counties throughout the U.S. have been told they must add a touch-screen in each voting place. Black Box Voting has discovered that the addition of a single Diebold touch-screen – with or without a paper trail -- introduces a change to the remote access configuration such that malicious tampering of the entire system (including the paper ballot-based portion) becomes easier. Who else wants PBOS Many organizations including the League of Women Voters of New York State have endorsed PBOS. So have many newspapers, including the New York Times and the New York Daily News.
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