New York votes for paper ballots

What’s the saying? “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day?” Bo Lipari of New Yorkers for Verified Voting celebrates and explains the state’s decision to approve only paper balloting and optical scanner systems for the long-overdue fulfillment of HAVA requirements. The new systems will begin appearing this year, and lever machines are now scheduled to become extinct in 2009.

Those of you who were with us at the beginning five years ago know what an enormous victory this is. When I first started traveling, presenting and advocating in New York, election officials, political parties, and machine vendors assumed that New York State was going to be a DRE state. Precinct scanners were not under discussion, and only DREs were offered by vendors. Our experience over these five years reflects the truth of Gandhi’s statement – indeed we were ignored, then laughed at, then fought bitterly by the voting machine vendors and their supporters in the election establishment. But finally, truth has prevailed, and what seemed like an impossible dream in 2003 has been made real by our hard work – New York State will be a paper ballot state.

I have never been one of the Diebold conspiracy theorists, but this is pretty good news. Amazing what a good judicial spanking can accomplish. And none too soon, since had it been left up to the counties, CNY was looking to be Touchscreen Central.