North Manhattan Neighbors

 for Peace and Justice


Washington Heights

 Political Action Group


Resolution in support of "PBOS" voting technology

 (Paper Ballots, Optical Scanners and Accessible Ballot-Marking machines

 for voters with disabilities and minority languages)

February 6, 2006


The Washington Heights Group urges the New York City Board of Elections to hold public hearings prior to deciding what new voting machines to purchase so that citizens can participate in this important decision. Such hearings should be at a time when working people can attend and speak.


We also urge the New York City Board of Elections to select PBOS machines for our future elections


We also urge the New York State Board of Elections to certify PBOS machines as soon as possible.


We oppose the use of computers in voting because computers conceal the legal ballot, and display only a temporary image of our ballot. We have no way of knowing what is recorded inside the computer. The voter verifiable paper audit record required by state law is not our legal ballot unless 100% of them are manually counted, which we believe will happen infrequently if at all.


As voters, we prefer paper ballots which we can mark ourselves, whether by hand or by use of an accessible ballot-marking machine for voters with disabilities or minority languages. Optical scanners in each poll site can alert voters to errors in marking their ballot, and allow correction so that all ballots would be correctly marked, valid, and countable.  Other jurisdictions have found that optical scanners are reliable, secure, and easy to use.


We oppose the use of any voting equipment that requires our Board of Elections to rely on technical help from vendors. The responsibility of our Board of Elections is to run elections, not to contract the work out to others. No machines should be purchased that cannot be 100% handled by the bi-partisan employees of our Board of Elections.


We want the best voting equipment for our city and we believe that paper ballots and optical scanners are the best, given the requirements of federal and state law at this time. We understand also that such equipment is also less expensive and longer lasting. This is a win-win choice.