Teresa Hommel

Chair, Task Force on Election Integrity, Community Church of New York



New York State Board of Elections

40 Steuben Street

Albany, NY 12207-2108


Comment on Draft Voting Systems Standards

Section 6209.8 Rescission of Certification






A. If at any time subsequent to the State Board's approval of a voting system, the State

Board determines that the voting system fails to fulfill the criteria prescribed by statute and

these rules, the Board shall notify any users and vendors of that particular voting system

that the State Board's approval or certification of that system for future sale of that system

in New York State is to be withdrawn.


B. Such notice shall be in writing and shall specify the reasons why the approval or

certification of the system is being rescinded. Such notice shall also specify the date on

which the rescission is to become effective.


C. Any vendor or user of such voting system may request in writing that the State Board

reconsider its decision to rescind approval or certification of the voting system.


D. Upon receipt of such request to reconsider, the State Board shall hold a hearing for the

purpose of reconsidering the decision to rescind the approval or certification. Any

interested party shall be given the opportunity to submit testimony or documentation in

support of or in opposition to the Board's decision to rescind approval or certification.


E. The State Board may affirm or reverse its decision.






A. The State Board shall post on its web site a form that members of the public, voters, Election Inspectors, and County Board staff can use to report voting system malfunctions and failures.


B. The State Board shall notify all County Boards that voting system malfunctions and failures of the following types, as well as all others, should be reported within five business days of their occurrence. Such notice shall be posted for public display at all County Boards.


1. A voter sees his or her vote switched to a different candidate on the screen.

2. A voter touches a touchscreen or pushbutton for a candidate, but the vote does not register.

3. The screen when it first appears contains votes already registered that the voter did not enter.

4. One or more candidates or questions are missing from the ballot displayed.

5. The wrong ballot is displayed on the screen. 

6. The final summary screen does not accurately contain the voting choices made by the voter.

7. The voter cannot change a vote displayed on the screen.

8. The voter verifiable permanent paper record does not contain the votes entered by the voter.

9. The number of votes recorded by the machine is greater than the number of voters who used it.

10. The printer or accessibility attachments do not work.

11. The ballot cannot be displayed in minority languages for which is has been programmed.

12. The machine fails to boot up at the beginning of the election day.

13. The number of blank votes (also called undervotes) for the top three races on the ballot

      is higher than one-half percent.

14. At the end of the election day the votes cannot be extracted from the voting system or its

      memory devices.

15. At the end of the election day the memory devices are blank.

16. The Election Day Activity Log contains incorrect information or is blank.


C. The State Board shall notify all County Boards that any specific voting system that malfunctions or fails during election day shall immediately be taken out of service, and for the rest of the election day Election Inspectors shall provide voters with emergency paper ballots on which to vote; and that the Election Inspectors of that Election District shall immediately fill out and sign a report in which they describe the malfunction or failure, the time it occurred, and list the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses of the event who are willing to be so listed, including Election Inspectors of other Election Districts in the same poll site, Election Observers, Police Officers, voters, and any other persons who are present.


D. Within five business days after such malfunction or failure, the County Board shall send a copy of the report from the Election Inspectors to the State Board and also provide the serial number of the specific voting system and the location of the poll site at which the event occurred. The County Board shall handle reports from persons other than Election Inspectors in the same manner.


E. For each certified voting system the State Board shall maintain a permanent Log of Reported Malfunctions and Failures. Such Log shall be retained while the voting system is certified and in use in New York State, and for five years after the voting system is no longer certified or in use in New York State. Such Log shall contain all notifications of malfunctions and failures, and the State Board's responses to such notifications and the resolution of each report. The Log shall be posted on the website of the State Board and a paper copy shall be available in the office of the State Board for public inspection. The State Board shall make paper copies of such Log available to any member of the public upon written request for a reasonable fee not to exceed 25 cents per page.


F. If at any time subsequent to the State Board's approval of a voting system, the State Board receives notification of voting system malfunction or failure from a County Board or any person who is a witness to such an event, the State Board shall take the following actions within five business days.


            1. acknowledge receipt of such notification to the sender,

            2. record the notification in the Log of Reported Malfunctions and Failures

                for that voting system, and

            3. send a copy of such notification to all county boards where voting systems of that type

    are in use and to the vendor.


G. Within 45 calendar days of receiving notification of malfunction or failure of a specific voting system, the State Board shall examine such voting system, including a comparison of its components with the Escrow Component List.


            1. Upon determination that the specific voting system's malfunction or failure cannot be

                 verified and that its components are exactly the same as those on the Escrow Component

                 List, the State Board shall notify County Boards and the vendor of that determination

                 and confirm that certification of the voting system remains in effect.


            2. Upon determination that the specific voting system's malfunction or failure can be

                 verified or that its components are not exactly the same as those on the Escrow

                 Component List, the State Board shall immediately rescind certification of the voting



            3. All persons who witnessed the malfunction or failure, or their representatives, may attend

    these proceedings of the State Board including the examination to verify the malfunction

    or failure of the specific voting system, and may provide assistance to the State Board in

    verifying such malfunction or failure.


4. The State Board shall post notice of all proceedings for resolution of reports on the web

    site of the State Board, and shall send notice by mail and email to all persons who were

    witnesses to such malfunction or failure, provided that such persons have provided their

    email address for such notification..


H. Within three business day of rescission of certification of a voting system, the State Board shall notify in writing all County Boards and the vendor that the voting system's certification for use or future sale in New York State has been rescinded, the reasons for such rescission, and the date on which such rescission has become effective, and such notification shall be posted on the website of the State Board.


I. The vendor of a voting system for which certification has been rescinded shall determine the cause of the malfunction or failure, or why the components of the specific voting system were not

the same as those on the Escrow Component List, and shall notify the State Board of such reasons, and shall correct the voting system including the procedures for its use to prevent future malfunctions or failures or uncertified modifications to such voting system. The vendor shall pay for such corrections and for re-certification testing.


J. If the corrected voting system passes re-certification testing, the State Board shall create

a new Escrow Component List, and may re-certify such system. Within 30 calendar days of

re-certification and prior to use in any election, each voting system of the same type

in the state of New York must be modified by the vendor to correct the causes of rescission of certification, and the State Board must determine that the components of each such modified voting system are exactly the same as the Escrow Component List.




Relevant section of the Election Reform and Modernization Act

Page 4, Lines 15-30


15    3. If at any time after any machine OR SYSTEM has been approved pursu-

16  ant to the provisions of subdivision one or two  of  this  section,  the

17  state  board of elections has any reason to believe that such machine OR

18  SYSTEM does not meet all the requirements for voting machines OR SYSTEMS

19  set forth in this article, it shall  forthwith  cause  such  machine  OR

20  SYSTEM  to be examined again in the manner prescribed by subdivision one

21  of this section. If the opinions in the report of such  examinations  do

22  not state that such machine OR SYSTEM can safely and properly be used by

23  voters at elections under the conditions prescribed by this article, the

24  state  board  of  elections shall forthwith rescind its approval of such

25  machine OR SYSTEM.  After the date on which the approval of any  machine

26  OR  SYSTEM  is  rescinded,  no  machines  OR SYSTEMS of such type may be

27  purchased for use in this state. The  state  board  of  elections  shall

28  examine  all  machines  OR  SYSTEMS  of  such type which were previously

29  purchased, to determine if they may continue to be used in elections  in

30  this state.