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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 01:07 PM
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NY: "Voter was right to be skeptical"
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Voter was right to be skeptical

By Virginia Martin
Democratic Commissioner of Elections
Columbia County
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Peter Kane Dufault was underwhelmed with the new voting machines when he voted in this months primary election. He wanted to know what there was beyond the superficial level of the machine, and its to his credit that he did.

Mr. Dufault sent us at the Board of Elections a copy of his letter pre-publication, and I was on the phone with him in a heartbeat. We talked about what he had expected when he went to vote, and what he found. He felt cheated when he couldnt view, on the scanners small LCD screen, a report (a review) showing how his votes were being counted by the optical scanner.

I explained that the Board had made a conscious decision not to promote that review feature during our election inspector training. My reasoning was that the way the machine was counting votes, and how it might display a voters choices on screen, were not relevant. Thats because both I and my counterpart, (Republican) Commissioner Nastke, believe that the only way we can be confident that well know how the voters voted which we must know before we can certify the results is by counting every single vote on every single paper ballot that was scanned. Therefore, while what the scanner might show the voter on its screen might be interesting, no voter should be reassured by what that screen reveals, because it could be wrong. What isnt wrong is the results of the 100 percent hand count of each paper ballot that Commissioner Nastke and I conducted, beginning the day after the election and ending the next day.


If I do say so, he was greatly relieved, if not correspondingly dismayed that our county, with all others in New York State, has been forced to use very costly voting machines that we cant rely on to count votes.

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