Assemblywomen Sandy Galef and Barbara Lifton are launching "Scan and Be Sure", a voting machine campaign for New York State. They are advocating that paper ballots and optical scanning machines – along with an AutoMARK system for the disabled – are selected as New York’s voting system.
The legislators are initiating the campaign as the New York State Legislature prepares to implement the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) by determining the means and mechanisms by which New Yorkers will vote through the next century.
"We must have a new voting system that is secure, simple, accessible, verifiable, transparent, and economical for everyone involved," stated Assemblywoman Sandy Galef. "Right now, this is simply not the direction in which New York State appears to be heading. My constituents and several grassroots organizations have brought it to my attention that New York is currently going down the wrong path that could have dangerous consequences for our democratic system. We have several options regarding voting technology and we need to make the right selection."
Galef and Lifton explained that current legislation in the Assembly and Senate mostly speaks to the use of electronic voting, also known as DRE’s (Direct Record Electronic), a system that has been found to be seriously problematic and prohibitively expensive.
"The problems with electronic voting include: higher costs to the taxpayers, electronic election failures, inadequate election worker training in electronic voting technology, and faulty machines that require maintenance and periodic replacement creating administrative chaos and recurring future costs," stated Assemblywoman Lifton.
"Our Legislature must carefully consider another voting technology that does not have these problems. I have just participated in a model demonstration of paper ballots and optical scanners. I was also very impressed with AutoMARK, a technology that facilitates voting for those who have special needs. The combination of paper ballots, optical scanners, and AutoMark was simple and straightforward while creating a paper trail so that all votes can be recounted in a transparent and reliable fashion, guaranteeing that all votes are counted while remaining private," commented Galef.
"The mission of our "Scan and Be Sure" voting machine campaign is to work with advocacy groups and voters in reaching out to our governmental colleagues, election personnel, and local and county municipal leaders in making the case for paper ballots, optical scanners and AutoMARK as our new voting system to implement HAVA and assuring all New Yorkers that their votes count," concluded Lifton.