Hearing at the New York City Board of Elections
November 21, 2006
Paper Ballots and Optical Scanners are a reliable, affordable, easily-audited, accessible voting technology with a long history of successful use in the United States.
My name is Sari Joseph, and I am a resident and voter in Manhattan. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
I urge you to select paper ballots and optical scanners for New York’s new voting machines, when we have to replace our lever machines.
Paper ballots and optical scanners were used this year by many counties and many voters.
There were problems with the new scanners, similar to the problems with DREs. It does seem like the new machines are not of very high quality.
The difference, however, is that where voters marked paper ballots directly or by ballot marking machines for voters with disabilities, the true will of the voters was able to be determined.
Where DREs were used, those elections will always be in doubt. Even where a paper trail was used, there were questions because of paper jams as well as problems with voters not being informed about how to view the paper trail where it was hidden under an opaque cover. There were problems with the paper being installed backward so that the heat-sensitive printing mechanism didn’t work
Optical scanners have been in use for over 20 years. They are easy to use and easy to understand for voters and poll workers.
It is easy to protect the security of paper ballots if you invite or require every party to send observers to watch over them, and install cameras in the warehouse where they are stored, with the feed from the cameras going to every party’s headquarters as well as a police precinct.
In conclusion, I urge each of you to choose paper ballots and optical scanners as our new voting technology because it is simpler and more trustworthy than DREs.