Paper ballots get the vote for accuracy
Election reform discussed [a second topic has been omitted by wheresthepaper.org]
By CAROL DeMARE, Staff writer
October 13, 2005
ALBANY -- Nearly 20 speakers addressed county legislators Tuesday, voicing support for a new voting system using paper ballots and optical scanners and opposition to the disbanding of the county's crime victims center.
Several members of the League of Women Voters said their organization researched various machines and found the optical scan to be secure, accurate, recountable and accessible.
Under the Help America Vote Act, counties must replace lever-voting machines by the first federal election in 2006, which will be the September primary.
Aimee Allaud, the statewide League of Women Voters election and government specialist, and a member of the league's Albany County chapter, asked the local lawmakers to form a committee from a cross-section of the community to explore the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of equipment available.
County Executive Michael Breslin's tentative budget for 2006 includes $1.6 million to replace the machines. The cost will be charged back to county municipalities, all of which will use the new system. The 39-member County Legislature has the final say on adopting the budget.
League member Phyllis Goldstein said the paper ballot and scanner technique "is as easy as filling out a state lottery ticket," one of which she held up. Goldstein said paper ballots are less expensive and more accurate than purchasing electronic touch-screen or push button machines.
All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2005, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.
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