New York Times
February 23, 2006
Voter Groups See Flaws in Plan to Upgrade Balloting
By JENNIFER MEDINA
ALBANY, Feb. 22 Voter advocacy groups contended on Wednesday that New York was moving forward with a flawed proposal to modernize its voting system that could lead to widespread security problems on Election Day.
Next week, the State Board of Elections is scheduled to discuss proposed regulations for the brands and types of voting machines that will be certified for this fall’s elections. Legislation passed last year allows local election boards to choose their own machines as long as they meet the state board’s standards.
But the advocacy groups said the measures did not require enough tests to see if the machines would work or independent tests to determine if hackers could penetrate the machines’ security systems. Tests conducted by other states, including California, have found that nearly 20 percent of the machines tested did not count votes properly, said Bo Lipari, the executive director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting, a nonprofit advocacy group.
The proposed Final Voting Systems Standards do very little to improve the many serious weaknesses present in the Draft Standards. It is troubling that the detailed technical commentary the State Board received from our organization and other experts was simply ignored in this latest revision.
New Yorkers for Verified Voting finds the proposed Final Standards in their present form to be unacceptable. Approving these standards as written will jeopardize the integrity of our vote in New York. It is incumbent upon theNew York State Board of Elections to guarantee each citizen’s right to vote, and to prove to the public that they can be confident that their votes will be accurately counted. The Final Standards fail in this regard. We need to do better.
Attached (below) is the introduction to our commentary on the Final Standards. Because so few changes were made to the draft regulations, we feel the only adequate response to the Final Standards is to resubmit our original commentary to the Draft Standards.
The full version submitted to the NYS Board of Elections contains NYVV’s complete commentary for the Draft Standards.