02 May 2005

How Albany picks a new voting machine

Erik Kriss - May 02, 2005

There's a million-dollar battle raging over what kinds of voting machines New Yorkers will use starting next year.

Thanks to the 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida, New York's mechanical lever machines should be gone by the November 2006 election, the result of a sweeping federal voting law requiring, in part, that voting systems be accessible to the disabled.

The decisions state officials make in the next two months will change the way New Yorkers vote. And lawmakers aren't making those decisions in a vacuum.

Since Congress passed the Help America Vote Act in 2002, voting machine vendors have spent nearly $1.2 million trying to influence New York's choice of voting system.

The battle boils down to touch-screen electronic devices vs. optical scanners that tabulate paper ballots.


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