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Old voting machines to be replaced by electronic devices in Nassau County [View All]

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-27-10 06:23 PM
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Old voting machines to be replaced by electronic devices in Nassau County
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Old voting machines to be replaced by electronic devices in Nassau County

February 24, 2010

By Alex Costello


We believe a federal judge will direct us to put them into use this year for the primaries and the election, said John DeGrace, Republican commissioner of the Nassau County Board of Elections, even though the county is suing to keep lever machines in place this year.


But neither Biamonte nor DeGrace believes that the transition from levered to electronic voting machines is in the states best interest. Were being forced to change to correct a problem that didnt exist with us, Biamonte said. Our lever voting machines are much more reliable than electronic voting, theyve been tested over and over again, the public has confidence in them, the election officials have confidence in them, and I think time will show that electronic voting will not give us the same level of confidence.


The county, according to DeGrace, must fund 5 percent of the approximate $10 million cost of the machines. However, he added, he expects the cost to the county to approach $5 million, including training, public awareness campaigns, technicians and additional personnel that may need to be hired.


We just had the most competitive election in Nassau County history, where the county executive was elected by a margin of 383 votes, and no ones disputing that, Biamonte said. It took us five weeks to go through 8,000 paper ballots absentees, affidavits and emergency ballots. If we used this system last year, we would have had 260,000 paper ballots to go through.


At a time when every municipality in this country is running record deficits, real serious services like public safety and services that people need are being cut or adjusted, why are we spending all this money to fix what? To accomplish what? Biamonte said. Were very concerned we think this is an absolutely unnecessary thing to be doing, and it serves no purpose. It accomplishes nothing.


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