Sunday, February 03, 2008

CDR to NYSBOE: Bad Decisions

Have I mentioned lately how reprehensible the State Board's decision not to certify the two AutoMark voting systems for use this fall was? About how it leaves the county boards with little leverage in negotiating with Sequoia, the only voting machine vendor left standing? And how it means the counties will be forced to use machines that have never been used in the United States before?

It's been at least two days you say?

Well, here's another voice -- this from the Center for Disability Rights (i.e., the organization that represents the citizens who will be using these machines this fall):

"While the Sequoia system shows some promise, it has not been fully tested by people with disabilities. The few peers who have tested it have noted issues with the hand held tactile device and an increased amount of time to both use the machine and print the ballot which can create frustration and delays during the voting process. Rather than invest in one system with limited testing, it makes more sense for the State to reinstate the ES&S and Premier AutoMark BMD so the counties and people with disabilities have a choice. The AutoMark system is used in other states and many people with disabilities have tested or used the product before.

Advocates need to take action to ensure that we have a choice of voting machines!"

I couldn't agree more. Wouldn't it be something if the State Board actually consulted with voters who will be using the machines they are authorizing for purchase?

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