Pamella Farley

 

January 29, 2007

Supporting Resolution 131 to be voted out of the Governmental Operations Committee for a vote by the City Council

 

I am happy to express my appreciation for this hearing you are conducting.

 

I am Pamella Farley, Professor Emerita of Brooklyn College, CUNY.

 

I advocate that we use voter-marked paper ballots rather than computer-marked electronic ballots.

 

First, there is a difference between a paper trail which is used to spot-check electronic ballots and tallies, and a voter-marked paper ballot which can be REcounted.

 

Second, we know from failures of electronic voting machines already in use around our country that these machines are not adequate.We have evidence already.Standards were not established when these machines were designed and manufactured and purchased. Certification is not properly carried out.

 

It now appears that the Election Assistance Commission waited until after the November, 2006, election to let the public know that the Ciber testing laboratory may have failed to enforce even what federal standards exist. This is the lab that has certified approximately 70% of the voting systems in this country, and that New York State hired to evaluate equipment for New York State certification.

 

The list of problems with the present set-up is too long for one person to recount, so I would ask you to heed the voices of people who say we have too many doubts and we need to preserve a first-hand voter-marked paper ballot to preserve our democratic rights to a fair voting process.

 

In the Netherlands electronic voting machines were removed from use in elections because they wanted to avoid even the appearance of using equipment whose radio waves might be interfered with.They didnít think anyone was interfering; but they didnít want to lose popular confidence in the electoral process by using equipment the public had doubts about.

 

We shouldnít either. Please pass Resolution 131 out of committee.