Wanda Warren Berry’s Summary of main points from
interview of Douglas A. Kellner, Co-Chair of NY State Board of Elections
(SBOE), “Voice of the Voters” on Jan. 9, 2007.
reported that the Department of Justice had asked the state Board of
Elections to develop more specific dates and benchmarks in their plan for
implementing the replacement of lever machines in 2009. The implication was that the DoJ and
the Judge would accept the deferral of that replacement until 2009.
state Board yesterday evening submitted a revision of the plan that would
meet the DoJ request.
talked about the great difficulty of meeting the schedule for placing a
ballot marking device (BMD) in each polling place for September 2008 and
for replacing the levers in 2009.
But he also noted that “we all have had a long time to get prepared
to these changes.”
said that on January 23 the SBOE will notify counties of the BMDs that are
approved for their consideration.
This will follow a preliminary review of the bids that looks for
problems in the device’s capacity to fulfill basic NY State requirements.
SBOE will ask for the counties to register their preferences for a BMD by
mid-February. Meanwhile technical
tests of the BMDs will take place.
machines that do not pass these tests may be withdrawn. In the long run,
he said vendors would be responsible if machines were purchased that were
not finally certified.
emphasized that counties should choose in relation to their expected
permanent system for replacing the levers.
certification of machines for replacing the levers is expected by August.
also wanted to get the message out that DREs (1) are more expensive for
counties than the paper ballot scanner system, and (2) that counties need
to note how much more difficult it will be to carry out the
state-law-required 3% audit with DRE paper trails.
response to questions, Commissioner Kellner said that he expects at least
two DREs to apply for use as ballot marking devices: the Avante and the Liberty
machines. Each has claimed to be
ready to submit machines which produce full-face ballots. Bo Lipari noted that these
modifications will not have solved the fundamental problems with DREs that
have been recognized across the country. Kellner said that the SBOE was
directed by the state legislation to allow both kinds of systems.
specifically named four machines that he expects will apply for use as
BMDs. There may be more.:
- two different versions of the
- Dominion-Sequoia “Image Cast,”
- Avante DRE and
- Liberty DRE
remarks: It seems clear that for counties that choose the paper ballot
scanner system, the choice of a BMD in the next few weeks will determine the
scanners to replace the levers. We think the versions of the AutoMARK are
different for the ES&S scanner and for the Premier/Diebold scanner. The “Image Cast” BMD is tied to the
It seems less and less likely that the SBOE will refuse
certification to machines for replacing the levers if a great deal of our HAVA
funds already have been spent on them.