Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Competing Assessments of Prospects for New Voting Machines in ‘08

Depending on which New York-area newspaper you picked up this morning, you either got a glimmer of hope about the possibility of voting on new machines for the ’08 elections or a dash of cold water.

The New York Times reports that Douglas Kellner, a chairman at the state Board of Elections, believes the state may be ready to install new electronic voting machines for the November 2008 elections, though he has all but ruled out the idea that they might be in place in time for the presidential primaries. Kellner argued at the House hearing yesterday, “If we certify the new machines by December, they should be able to get most of the system in place for the November 2008 election. And I think the September primary, too.”

The Newsday editorial board, on the other hand, sees this type of optimism as misplaced, citing the “snail’s pace of the state Board of Elections” and calling it “madness to make counties put new machines into service for the first time in a presidential general election.”

We’ll have to wait and see what actually happens, but we do urge lawmakers and state and local officials to take whatever time is necessary to ensure that our new election system is secure and accurate.

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