Submitted by Allegra Dengler:

 

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005, Greenburgh unanimously passed a resolution calling on the State to buy optical scanners. They added a section allowing grandfathering in lever machines. This resolution is similar to one passed by Tompkins County.

 

RESOLUTION ADVOCATING CERTIFICATION OF HAVA-COMPLIANT

VOTING MACHINES AND RELATED ELECTION LAW IMPROVEMENTS

 

MOVED by Steve Bass, seconded by Timmy Weinberg

 

WHEREAS, free and fair elections provide the backbone of our democracy, and public confidence in the election system is crucial, and

 

WHEREAS, in October 2002, in response to the election debacle in Florida, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to help States replace antiquated and unreliable voting systems and make voting accessible to people with disabilities, and

 

WHEREAS, New York State has yet to specify the details of its compliance with HAVA, but must act expeditiously or risk losing federal funding, and

 

WHEREAS, as it considers voting issues related to HAVA, the State Legislature should use the opportunity to consider additional election reform, and

 

WHEREAS, paper ballots counted on precinct-counted optical scanners are a reliable, user-friendly and cost-effective technology, and can be supplemented with adaptive ballot marking devices that render this system usable by people with disabilities, now therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, That the Greenburgh Town Board urges the New York State Assembly, Senate, and Governor to certify precinct-counted optical scanning machines with paper ballots as the HAVA-compliant machine of choice for New York State,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the Greenburgh Town Council urges the New York State Assembly, Senate, and Governor to incorporate the following:

 

        Include computer experts as well as financial auditors, CPAs, or computer auditors on the citizen's voting machine selection advisory committee.

 

        Contracts to private firms to handle electronic voting systems should be banned

 

        Expertise in the software, data, and hardware of their electronic voting systems prior to their use, as well as the necessary knowledge of computer security and auditing is delegated to the staff of county boards of elections.

 

        The law that allows the use of electronic voting systems should require and fund the training needed for such staff to gain professional competence.

 

        Professional-quality 100% audits of elections conducted with electronic voting systems should be mandated. This would follow the practice of the professional world of information technology, in which all transaction-capturing and transaction-processing computer systems are 100% audited and discrepancies are 100% investigated and corrected.

 

        Before electronic voting systems are used, including tabulators used with optical scanners, require that all source code of their software be posted on the web site of the state Board of Elections.

 

        All voting systems must be equipped with adaptive devices for use of persons with visual and other disabilities

 

        Require election-district-level tabulation and public posting of each election-district's results at each polling place when the polls close

 

RESOLVED, further, That our election process be further improved by:

 

        Having the cost not covered by Federal HAVA funds be paid by New York State rather than its individual counties (so as not to create a hardship on counties with fewer local resources and because the source of funds at the state level is more broad based).

 

Nothing in this resolution requires the replacement of the existing lever machines at the discretion of County Boards of Election.

 

February 23, 2005