New York, NY – Bloomberg: New Voting Machines Are Worse Than Paper Ballots

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    New York's new voting machines at a public demonstration tonight on the Upper West Side. (NY State Board of Elections) New York, NY – The city’s new electronic voting machines are worse than the 40-year-old lever-pull models they replaced, Mayor Bloomberg charged Monday.

    “We wound up with a machine that has all of the same problems that the [2000] chad issue did in Florida,” the mayor said. “There it was – was the chad punched out? Here it is – did you fill it in?”

    The city Board of Elections had widespread problems with the new machines in the primary election, and it recently discovered its Election Night totals in the general elections missed almost 200,000 votes.

    “We’ve gone backwards,” Bloomberg said. “You could have somebody hack into a computer, but there’s lots of ways to protect against that. This was just terrible.”

    The state requires new voting machines to include a paper trail for recounts, but handling that new paper delayed some results for hours last month.

    The mayor and other pols say New York has more roadblocks to voting than any other state, and they called for new laws to allow early voting, simplified ballots and extended registration deadlines.

    “The more people who get to vote, the better,” said Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens). “Unfortunately, our laws do not reflect that principle and make it more difficult.”

    The last head of the Board of Elections quit under pressure before last month’s election, and only one person has submitted a résumé for the open job, officials said at a City Council hearing.

    “The old lever machines were a lot easier to me,” said Councilwoman Inez Dickens (D-Manhattan).


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