Mary Patricia Dempsey


Testimony before the Board of Elections

Regarding the Purchase of New Voting Equipment

November 21, 2006


Good afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you. I am here to advocate the purchase of Paper Ballots with Optical Scanners (PBOS) as opposed to Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machines (DREs).


I support the purchase of PBOS for two basic reasons: cost and security.


The initial cost of PBOS will much less than DREs, and the continuing cost will be proportionally less.


PBOS equipment will be easier to store and handle, and will last longer.  Our voter and pollworker training will be easier with PBOS. Fewer computer technicians will be required at pollsites for PBOS, and we will need less help for voters who can't use computers.


The bottom line is: If DREs fail, votes can be lost; if scanners fail, votes on paper can be counted by hand or by re-scanning.


PBOS is low-tech, affordable, understandable, manageable, and reliable. Our election observers will be able to observe the handling of the paper ballots and the vote counting. PBOS will keep elections under your control, where it belongs. We won't have to worry about our elections being handed over to vendors. We will have the ballots marked directly by voters if there is any problem.


Thank you for listening.