Public Supports Optical Scan Voting Machines

May 12, 2005

Respondents to Assemblywoman Sandy Galef’s April 2005 constituent newsletter indicated their opinions on the Help America Vote Act and how to make New York compliant with the federal law. The overwhelming majority of respondents are in favor of paper ballots with optical scan. Out of 352 respondents, 73% indicated that they feel that optical scan is the best way to update New York’s voting system, 13% said they favor electronic voting, and 14% indicated another choice. Constituents who indicated "other" wrote in options such as keeping the outdated lever voting machines, or internet voting.

"There have been security problems with electronic voting in other states that raise questions about its appropriateness for New York State," Galef stated. "I am most concerned about security and protection from fraud in choosing a new voting method for New York State. While electronic voting is simple and easy to understand, it does not offer adequate fraud protection."

Paper ballots with optical scan combine the ease of electronic voting with the security of paper ballots. The ballots are tallied by a machine, which is quick and economical. The ballots are then stored so they can be recounted manually if there is any dispute as to the results of the election. Optical scan is also easy to understand and use, and it offers more options for voters with physical disabilities. Optical scan is also very economical.

"I agree with my constituents, and support their choice of optical scan for New York’s voting future."