Sewell Chan reports on the Brennan Center's usability study of voting machines in today's New York Times. We'll have lots to say in the coming days about this release, but the most important thing is this: of the two types of machines that New York is considering, one -- the full face DRE, or "touch screen" voting machine -- has significantly higher lost vote rates than the other -- Precinct Count Optical Scan, or a machine which allows a voter to fill out her ballot by pen and then feed the ballot into a scanner. The difference is significant. At top of the ticket races (i.e. President, Governor), there is a 1.2% "residual" or lost vote rate on full face DREs, but just 0.7% for Precinct Count Optical Scans. That may not sound like a lot, but consider that there are well over 10,000,000 registered voters in New York. 0.5% represents more than 50,000 votes.
Categories: General, Voting