Marjorie Ramos


Nov. 21, 2006


Statement to the Commissioners of the New York City Board of Elections


My name is Marjorie Ramos. I live in Staten Island, NY. I am concerned about the integrity of our election system and our future voting machines, a fundamental tool of democracy. I, therefore, support the use of paper ballots and optical scanners and oppose the use of electronic voting machines, called DREs, even though our NY law requires them to have a paper trail. 


My reason for supporting paper ballots and optical scanners is security.


We all know it is hard to secure computers; in fact, there is no company to date that has made a computer that is tamper-proof. You hear about computers being hacked all the time. Itís not that hard to do especially with wireless communications, which is what most electronic voting machines have. I understand that the New York City Board of Elections will be unable to inspect our equipment to confirm it does not contain wireless communications components.


Too many people know how to tamper with computers with viruses and other methods. Computers are not the right way to conduct our elections. We should stick with paper and let people observe the procedures; then, everyone will know that our elections were conducted according to the law and that the votes were handled properly.


I believe it will be impossible to protect the security of electronic ballots. No one can see them inside the computer.


Weíve all the seen the problems over the last few years with DREs and the challenges to electoral results. Itís been a mess. These security concerns with the electronic voting machines cause people to question the legitimacy of our elections. There are questions about whether the winners are really the winners.


I care about our democracy and that is why I support paper ballots and optical scanners and strongly oppose electronic voting machines.