League of Women Voters of New York State
New Yorkers for Verified Voting
New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
For Immediate Release: For more information contact:
February 22, 2006 Aimee Allaud, LWVNYS, 518-482-2617
Bo Lipari, NYVV, 607-351-2314
Neal Rosenstein, NYPIRG, 212-349-6460
Amy Ngai, Citizens Union, 212-227-0312
Rachel Leon, Common Cause, 917-847-3625
Civic Groups Call for NYS Board of Elections to Reject Second Draft Regulations
for Voting Machine Standards
Albany, NY - Civic groups today called for the rejection by the State Board of Elections of the Regulations for Voting Machine Standards. The Revised Regulations have been submitted to the public for a second public comment period that ends on February 24th and will be voted on at the next meeting of the State Board of Elections on February 27th. Advocates contend the Revised Regulations do little to protect New Yorkers right to vote.
"These Regulations are sadly deficient in explicitly defining security requirements for voting machines and this newest revision shows virtually no improvement," said Aimee Allaud, Elections Specialist, League of Women Voters of New York State. "Computer professional's technical commentary on the proposed standards appears to have been disregarded, placing our voting system at substantial risk," said Ms. Allaud.
"These revised standards do nothing to improve the many weaknesses present in the original. We are troubled that the detailed technical commentary the State Board received was simply ignored in the latest revision," said Bo Lipari, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting. "Security standards and tests remain exceptionally weak and vendor driven, comprehensive tests such as Mock Election Tests are not required, and the entire process is concealed from the public. The commissioners must not approve these standards as written. Doing so will jeopardize the integrity of our vote in New York."
"The State Board of Elections shouldn't be rushing something as important as how to replace our current voting machines," said Neal Rosenstein, Government Reform Coordinator of NYPIRG. "In their haste, they've drafted shoddy regulations that eliminate citizens from the decision making process, compromise security, fail to adequately address access for voters with disabilities and may well ensure that we end up with real clunkers instead of a voting system we can all trust," he added.
"We are poised to make a tremendous investment, both in dollars and in human capital. This version of the regulations ignored significant public input. New Yorkers could have full confidence in their voting if the security recommendations from citizens would be written into the voting regulations," said Vicky Perry, Mid-Hudson chapter of New Yorkers for Verified Voting.
"New York is currently at a pivotal point in the modernization of voting technology and the Sate Board of Elections must not compromise our election system in order to expedite the implementation of HAVA," said Amy Ngai, Program Associate, Citizens Union. "The standards by which the State Board purchases voting systems must be reflective of the needs of all New Yorkers, anything less will jeopardize the integrity of our elections process."
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