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HOLT on LEVER MACHINES!: "These machines dont lie. What you see is what you get." [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:47 PM
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Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 09:50 PM by Bill Bored

The Fixer
Published: February 3, 2008

"This machine right here might look old on the outside, but when you repair it, oil it, grease it, keep most of the parts working, its good to go."

"To tell you the truth, I like these machines. With all the problems theyre having with the computerized machines, these are solid. You cant tamper with them. Theyre talking about maybe in 2009 getting rid of these dinosaurs and bringing in computers. All of this will be phased out. No more of that manual screwing parts on. Maybe itll be a slip of the cartridge or whatever. Well miss them, but what can you do?"


"These machines dont lie. What you see is what you get."

As a child growing up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Robert Holt Jr. thought that the mysterious gray machines rolled into his school for Election Day looked like coffins. Now, as one of 21 repairmen in the place where Brooklyns voting machines are fixed, he has developed a certain amount of affection for the hulking contraptions.

Mr. Holt, 47, is a stocky grandfather of three who began working for the city elections board as a voting machine technician in 1981. Most of the year, his workplace is a cavernous warehouse in Red Hook where more than 2,200 Shoup voting machines for Brooklyns 389 polling sites are stored and maintained.

New Yorkers are unusual in continuing to use mechanical pull-lever voting machines when most of the country uses computerized machines. A move to replace the 800-pound Shoups with computerized models took a giant step forward last month, however, when a federal judge approved the State Board of Elections plan to abandon the pull-lever machines by the fall of 2009 to comply with the Help America Vote Act.
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