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New York's "most proactive county in HAVA implementation" wants to keep lever voting system [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-10 08:36 PM
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New York's "most proactive county in HAVA implementation" wants to keep lever voting system
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Edited on Fri May-07-10 08:47 PM by Bill Bored
HAVA is about making sure voters with disabilities can vote independently. This has nothing to do with counting votes with computers. That's why New York's Columbia County, well-known for its opposition to replacing lever voting machines with software, is also the state's "most proactive county" when it comes HAVA implementation.

Maybe they're just the only county that bothers to read the law!

County is ahead of the curve with HAVA work

By Francesca Olsen
Published: Friday, May 7, 2010 2:11 AM EDT

Columbia County is ahead of the game in disabled voter outreach and HAVA (2002 federal Help America Vote Act) implementation, according to one team thats been inspecting county poll sites across the state.

Helen Benlisa and Don Wyckoff, members of Project HAVA and employees of the Catskill Center for Independence, which runs the project, visited the county Board of Elections this week and conducted two days of training sessions with the countys poll site and HAVA specialists.

Theyre the most proactive county so far in HAVA implementation, said Wyckoff.

Over the last two years, the county Board of Elections has made several efforts to introduce Ballot Marking Devices, electronic voting machines that are easier to use for people with disabilities, to poll workers and voters.

Its working: 64 people voted on BMDs in the November election, compared to about a dozen votes, total, cast on BMDs in previous elections.

Theyve hired a specialized consultant to provide training, held workshops that joined poll site specialists, BMDs and the disabled, and hired specific personnel to learn the ins and outs of HAVA as well as to explain to poll workers why its important to be sensitive to HAVA requirements and the people for whom they were created. No one else is really doing that, Wyckoff said.


This is the most proactive county so far in really trying to address the physical barriers of polling sites, Wyckoff said, adding that the 17 in training were absolutely more receptive than the average crowd. We were able to talk openly with the (BOE) commissioners, he said.

We have great people here ... and they were all engaged, said Democratic BOE Commissioner Virginia Martin. Im so happy we could get 20 people in a room ... I think its changed the way we all look at these things.

And they still don't count votes with computers!
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