The Record



Troy education board needs to vote anew


Concerned about preventing a repeat of last year's problem, the district's school board voted to allow Liberty Election Systems to run the election, providing 10 electronic machines at seven polling places.


However, what seems to be a slam dunk on the surface has an underbelly that groups such as the League of Women Voters and New Yorkers for Verified Voting see as dangerous to the electoral process.


The problem lies in the electronic systems themselves, because not only are there no electronic voting systems in New York state that are certifiable under rigorous standards established in 2005, but, as of now, there is no way to tell whether the electronic vote is accurate.


And New Yorkers for Verified Voting points out what they term several inaccuracies in Liberty's pitch to the Enlarged City School District of Troy, including: "Liberty's machine is not a computer." It is.


"Liberty is a standalone system." It is not.


It is part of a larger system that requires memory cards written and transferred to and from standard PCs in order to run an election.


"Liberty cannot be accessed by hackers or anyone else on the Internet."


In October, a group of Dutch computer specialists successfully hacked into a machine without Internet access.


While we applaud the school board for trying to avoid last year's debacle, we encourage them - in the interest of the voting public - to re-think the way votes will be tallied on May 15.


With fewer than 1,500 voters, on average, getting paper ballots set up would be easy.


Using the current lever machines would also be a better option than using an untried and uncertifiable system that will be monitored by Dutch engineers who would not be responsible to any authority.


Voting for public officials is one of our cherished rights, and nothing should jeopardize the integrity of a vote.


Time is off the essence, but we believe the Troy school board should reconsider its plan to use the electronic machines this year.


The Record 2007