Rick Schwab



New York City Board of Elections

November 21, 2006


My name is Rick Schwab.


My focus has been how our pollworkers will be impacted by New York's transition to new voting machines.


Most of the pollworkers I've spoken to are older, retired citizens. These people are our neighbors, friends and even family members. Most of them do not have personal computers and are not computer literate.


These treasured public servants on Election Day will be overwhelmed by unreliable and complicated computerized voting systems, and they will be used as scapegoats by voting machine vendors when the systems malfunction and fail.


We trust our old pollworkers, but we can foresee that if there are problems with computerized equipment in the pollsite, our pollworkers will be pushed aside by computer technicians from our voting machine vendor. No one will be able to oversee the work of the technicians. Our democracy will be at risk.


I urge you to select equipment that is as easy as possible to understand, and to manage. I urge you to adopt paper ballots and optical scanners with ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities or minority languages.


Thank you.