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New York State Behind in Obtaining New Vote-Counting Equipment

Discovered this information at Ballot Access News. There is coverage at BAN and also from a Gannet News story BAN pointed at. There is some chance that New Yorkers will use the same old lever machines for the 2009 September primary and 2009 November general that we have been using for many, many years. (Which we at the wilderside do not mind. We like the old machines and find them reliable.)

excerpt from (Ballot Access News)
New York State Is Behind Schedule in Obtaining New Vote-Counting Equipment
January 26th, 2009

This article [below] says New York state is behind schedule in choosing new vote-counting equipment to replace its mechanical voting machines. New York state is the only state that still uses these machines. The state is in violation of federal law. The machines have only nine columns (or nine rows, depending on which style is in use). Because New York state uses the party-column (or party-row) ballot format, this forces the state to put two parties in the same column (or row). In November 2008, the state squeezed Ralph Nader’s Populist Party, and the Libertarian Party, into the same column, making it relatively difficult for voters to find either one.

(excerpt from) Gannett
Old lever machines may count vote again
Test of new machines is behind schedule
By Nancy Dooling / January 25, 2009

Election board officials here [Broome County, NY] and across New York are bracing for another year of uncertainty as the state has failed to implement a federal court order putting in place a new statewide voting system that is accessible to the disabled and includes a paper record of vote tallies.

So far, despite the order of a federal judge to comply, that hasn’t happened.

“We may be using the lever machines – again,” said John Perticone, the Democratic commissioner of the Broome County Board of Elections…

…As of Jan. 7, the court-ordered testing, certification and selection of New York’s voting systems and devices “is in jeopardy and behind schedule,” according to a report issued this month by the state board.

The state Board of Elections must now submit a weekly progress report to Gary Sharpe, the federal judge who ordered the state to comply with the federal mandate. Sharpe is a former federal prosecutor from Binghamton who now holds a federal judgeship in Albany. He’s expressed his frustration with New York’s election board, saying the state has thumbed its nose at the federal government…

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