NY: "The old lever voting machines arenít going anywhere anytime soon."
Madison County Voters to Use Lever Machines 1 More Time (or Maybe 2)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
By JODY McNICHOL Dispatch Staff Writer
WAMPSVILLE ó The old lever voting machines arenít going anywhere anytime soon.
Systest, the Denver-based company responsible for testing, quality assurance and compliance lost the required certification last fall, prior to the November elections and has yet to pass muster by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
After losing the required certification, the election commission suspended Systests accreditation.
Until the company gets the requirement back, the 40 new $5,000 machines will be kept, technician at the ready, in a secure climate controlled storage room, tested monthly and plugged in intermittently to keep it activated.
And the old reliable lever machines will be taken back out of closets all over the county. Dusted off and set-up at polling sites for most of this year. Definitely in March for village elections and maybe in November for the towns and city.
In the November elections, with the biggest voter turnout in many years, 64 voters used the forty new machines set up at each poll site.
Wilm's notes: The machines, Sequoia ImageCast, are a combination Ballot Marker and Optical Scan. The Ballot Marker section has been certified for use in the state, and has and will be used making NY State's Voting System HAVA compliant. The Optical Scan (Computerized Vote Counter) portion has not been certified, and is not in use.
1. They're rightt. I voted on those old lever achines for 21 years, and
I never had a question on how my vote was cast. I understand it takes a little longer to get the results than with a computer, but they are reliable and proven to be so. Most communities that have gotten rid of them did so because they are old and parts are hard to find. I honestly think it might be tetter to go back to the old technology and have reliable, albeit a bit slower results, machines.
Here's what pisses me off. I have worked in credit card authorization, on line lottery gaming, and other sensitive transaction based systems for a long time. There is absolutely no reason why electronic voting cannot be made secure, reliable, and auditable at a cost to the public that is comparable to maintaining and operating the lever based system. Diebold, for example, has all the capabilities necessary to pull this off. That they have not represents a corporate choice.
There is simply no excuse for this. These requirements are simple. Failure to deliver high integrity systems can only be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to screw with the fundamental processes of democratic rule.
All you have to do is dissociate the vote from the voter ... a thing conceptually accomplished by dumping a piece of paper into a ballot box.
Still, we can account for each piece of paper ... verify that it was properly printed and issued. We can determine if it was tampered with. And we can do the same thing with electronic transactions.
Me ... I'm FINE with paper voting. Just because technology CAN do something doesn't mean it is important to so deploy it. But if you are going to use technology, use it to meet ALL the requirements satisfied by the paper system. And don't try to tell me it can't be done because I know it can.
And if you are a company that implements the necessary technique every day and you tell me that it can't be done and sell the state a system that doesn't fulfill those requirements, you must be a) trying to rip us off or b) trying to steal elections or c) both.
How ya gonna do that? It's not like the voter will complain if it wasn't, which is why it's different than a bank transaction.
If you want to talk about end-to-end crypto stuff, go for it. But most people don't understand that. If you consider the process's understandability to be important, then it's a problem, or the people touting it have a problem because they haven't explained it well enough.
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