Feds warn state over vote systems
New York threatened with lawsuit for failing to meet deadlines for new standards
By JAMES M. ODATO, Capitol bureau
Albany Times Union
First published: Friday, January 13, 2006
ALBANY — Advocates for optical scanning voting machines say their arguments in favor of paper ballots got a boost when the Justice Department threatened to sue the state for failing to meet deadlines for new voting system standards.
Bo Lipari, director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting, and Aimee Allaud, of the League of Women Voters, said the Department of Justice could pull federal funds from New York meant for equipment purchases. The state, which is supposed to receive about $200 million to meet Help America Vote Act requirements, should focus on purchasing optical scan machines, which are not only more reliable, but cheaper, the advocates said Thursday.
They estimate that optical scan machines, which read paper ballots, would save New York $100 million because the technology is cheaper than touch-screen electronic machines known as DREs. DRE manufacturers say their machines also can meet the objectives of the Help America Vote Act and that the cost analysis is not conclusive.