Statement before the Joint Hearing of the Committee on Governmental
Operations and the Committee on Technology in Government,
New York City Council
January 29, 2007
My name is Pearl Reeves, and I am a board member of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council. Thank you for the opportunity to speak here today.
I urge the Governmental Operations Committee to vote on Resolution 131 and pass it, and recommend it for passage by the full City Council.
Please do not hesitate any longer to speak up for open observable elections. The storage, handling, and counting of votes must be able to be witnessed by average non-technical citizens. Computers prevent this. We are waiting for you to stand with us and object to hiding our election procedures inside of computers.
On January 8, 2007, the New York City Chapter of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council passed a resolution on the need for paper ballots, optical scanners and accessible ballot-marking devices for voters in New York City.
The resolution says
Whereas: Paper ballots and precinct-based optical scanners offer a more easily-used method of voting than electronic voting machines, and
Accessible ballot-marking devices can enable voters with disabilities or minority languages to mark their paper ballot independently and privately, and
Voting equipment for marking and scanning paper ballots is more reliable, auditable, and cost-effective than equipment for handling electronic ballots, and
We are confident that our New York City Board of Elections can safeguard paper ballots easily and without causing public doubts about the honesty and propriety of our elections, but electronic voting has caused doubts as well as many lawsuits,
Therefore, we resolve the following:
To urge the New York City Council to pass Resolution 131 which urges adoption of paper ballots and optical scanners, with accessible ballot-marking devices, when our city has to replace our lever voting machines, and
To urge the New York City Board of Elections to choose paper ballots and optical scanners, with accessible ballot-marking devices, when it has to replace our lever voting machines.