Bo Lipari report, 3/15/2005
The HAVA conference committee meeting yesterday was a very good day for paper ballot/optical scan, and showed that we have succeeded in our first step of building a great deal of support for PBOS among the legislators.
The Assembly members came out just short of openly endorsing optical scan. They talked about PBOS for almost 10 minutes, and never once mentioned DREs. Assembly staff even handed out the PBOS handout package to the entire conference committee that NYVV has been distributing in our lobbying efforts, so we were literally "on the table".
Assemblymen Wright and Cahill, and others stated that NY should be considering PBOS and it's considerable advantages. Assemblyman Cahill mentioned that the disabled community (he is a very strong advocate) liked the Automark ballot marker and it's accessibility features.
The downside is now that the Assembly is speaking strongly to adopt optscan the Senate is taking a harder line against it. Such is the partisan nature of our NY legislature. It's still unclear whether we will win outright legislative support for PBOS or this will wind up being punted to the state Board of Elections and/or individual counties. And we still battling against the highly paid, influential lobbyists, who putting a big effort into DRE adoption and spreading lies about PBOS.
But in spite of the lobbyists influence, we have succeeded in our first goal. In New York State, we have won support in the legislature, and the media, where new articles appear every day. Many county election commissioners are beginning to talk about PBOS's benefits. PBOS is now on the table in NY!
We've made great progress, but we still have much work to do. Thanks to all of you out there who have made this possible. Our work is not over yet my friends, but we are on our way!