Malcolm Varon


Statement before the Governmental Operations and Technology in Government Committees

New York City Council

January 29, 2007


Thank you for holding this hearing. Open government is the basis for public trust.


I urge you to pass Resolution 131 to advocate paper ballot and optical scanner voting equipment when our New York City Board of Elections has to replace our current tried-and-true mechanical voting machines.


We need to find a way of conducting elections that the public can trust.


Computerized voting machines conceal how the votes are handled, and cannot maintain public trust. As soon as there is a problem, everyone will suspect tampering, and no one will be able to prove that tampering did not occur. The paper trail might not be verified by all voters. With computerized voting machines we do not have a first-hand record of the votes, only a second-hand record made by the computer.


Optical scanners are only counting machines. It is easy to run a test deck through a scanner and discover whether or not the scanner is working properly. I believe that voter-marked paper ballots and optical scanners will result in voter confidence and public trust.


Please pass Resolution 131.


Thank you.