A Public Forum on New Voting Machines Set For December 13th

December 5, 2005

New voting machines will be demonstrated and discussed at a public forum Tuesday, December 13, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, at the Garrison Firehouse, Route 9, Garrison. The event is sponsored by State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Putnam County Legislator Vincent Tamagna, who encourage the public to come out and see demonstrations of the optical scan/paper ballot voting machines, ask questions of the experts, and participate in a lively discussion.

Speakers at the event include an equipment manufacturer, Joy Rosenzweig, President of the League of Women Voters, and Bo Lipari, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting.

League President Rosenzweig said: “The League of Women Voters believes that every vote counts and that every vote should be counted. For this reason we endorse optical scan voting systems. Optical scan systems best meet League criteria of being secure, accurate, recountable and accessible. The technology is tested and proven, the voting process is simple and quick, poll worker and voter training are easy and failure rates are negligible.”

New Yorkers for Verified Voting Director Lipari stated: “A new era of computerized voting presents many dangers and challenges to our citizens. Vendors are pushing error prone, expensive, insecure touch screen voting equipment on New York. But a reliable, auditable, accessible, cost-effective system based on hand marked paper ballots and optical scanners is the best choice for our State.”

Forum co-sponsor Putnam County Legislator Tamagna said: “The technology we select must have reliability, security and accessibility to all voters, especially to handicapped, special needs and elderly voters. The optical scan provides all of these features along with a verifiable paper trail. The State Board of Elections needs to afford us the opportunity to choose from all the voting machine technology that is available. We must move into the future being comfortable and confident with the decision made today.”

Assemblywoman Galef concluded: “Our old lever machines must be replaced under the federal Help America Vote Act. Electronic touch screens are not a good choice. We need a system that is easy for all to use, easy to verify votes, and less costly to buy and maintain. Now is the public’s chance to see this equipment and make our preference known to the county Board of Elections that decides which machines will be purchased.”

For more information, please contact Assemblywoman Galef at 914-941-1111 or Legislator Tamagna at 845-225-8690.