In a key win for verifiable voting advocates, four companies have submitted precinct ballot scanners for New York State certification testing.

For years voting machine vendors have tried to keep ballot scanners unavailable to New York. A comment in 2004 to Assembly woman Sandy Galef from the president of ES&S – “New York is a DRE state” shows the presumption that electronic touch screen voting was to be the only alternative for New Yorkers.

But ongoing advocacy by citizens calling for paper ballot systems forced voting machine vendors to begin demonstrating paper ballot scanners in New York. But until this week, there was no guarantee that any vendor would actually submit a scanner system for certification. If no vendor submitted a system, there would be no paper based system available for counties to choose as an alternative to DREs.

But yesterday, the State Board of Elections announced that four vendors had submitted precinct based ballot scanners for certification testing. The growing citizen demand for adoption of paper ballot systems has won another key victory, and an essential step in the battle for paper ballots.

The State Board reports that the following companies have submitted systems for certification:

Avante – One DRE system; One ballot scanner system
ES&S – One DRE system; One ballot scanner system
Diebold – One DRE system; One ballot scanner system
Sequoia – Two DRE systems; One ballot scanner system
Liberty – One DRE system
Populex – One ballot marking system

We are still a long, long way from adopting paper ballot based voting in New York. But this was an essential step along the path.

Congratulations to verifiable voting advocates around New York State, this win belongs to you!

-Bo Lipari

Peace, Liz

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