May 18, 2009
Democratic Majority Leader Senator Malcolm Smith
Legislative Office Building 909
Albany, NY 12247
RE: KEEP OUR LEVER VOTING MACHINES, RETURN THE FEDERAL MONEY!
Dear Senator Smith:
Please rescind ERMA, the state law that requires replacement of our lever voting machines. We should NOT replace them with new computerized equipment!
Please return the $50 million in federal funds that New York State accepted for replacement of our lever machines. It will cost us millions more of our own money to do it right, and the new equipment won't last more than 10 years. Then we will have no election equipment, and will have to spend more of our own money for new scanners!
With the new accessible Ballot Marking Devices ("BMDs") New York bought last year, we can have well-run, cost-effective, trustworthy, and accessible elections.
If New York has extra money, let's use it for our firehouses, hospitals, senior centers, parks, libraries, affordable housing, teachers and cops.
Our lever voting machines can work for another hundred years with routine maintenance. Most of their parts are standard items sold in hardware stores; the rest can be made in a machine shop. The lever voting machines are secure, easy to manage for poll workers, voters and election administrators, and inexpensive to maintain and use.
Please let me know what you are doing to protect New York's future elections from privatization and unnecessary, expensive, unmanageable computerized voting equipment.