Friday, November 18, 2005
Press Release: Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area Presents Voting Technology Forum With Voting Technology Expert Bo Lipari
November 18, 2005
For Immediate Release
Title: Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area Presents Voting Technology Forum With Voting Technology Expert Bo Lipari
Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area will be presenting an open, non-partisan educational public forum on November 30th at 7pm at the Crandall Library in downtown Glens Falls on New York State's transition to new voting technology as provided for under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
Featured will be Bo Lipari, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting, a citizens group working for secure, reliable, accessible, and verifiable standards for voting systems and elections. ( http://www.nyvv.org )
Lipari will make a presentation explaining and evaluating the various types of voting machines presently available that meet the new standards established by HAVA.
Under the HAVA act, the lever action voting machines currently used in most Tricounty polling places will have to be replaced. In addition, many are upwards of 60 years old and are worn and in need of repair.
There are two leading replacement voting technologies. The most wide spread and most established is known as Paper Ballot, Optically Scanned, or PB/OS. Voters mark paper ballots the way academic exams like the SAT are marked, and then the ballots are tabulated by scanning machines. This technology is based on machines used in schools for many years and is widely understood and is highly reliable. With PB/OS, the paper ballot is the actual ballot, and they are saved and can be recounted if need be.
The other technology, which has generated controversy, is known as Direct Recording Entry machines, or DRE's, popularly known as touchscreen machines. Very much like the new checkouts used in some supermarkets, voters cast their votes on DRE's by pressing points on a computer screen. Votes are then typically transmitted electronically to a central tabulating station. Unlike votes cast on PB/OS, if there is a need or problem, votes on DREs cannot be recounted, the machines can only be read again. Because they are based on very new technology, DREs are much more expensive then PB/OS.
Lipari, a resident of Schuyler County for the last 24 years, was a professional software engineer for 20 years. As Executive Director of NYVV he has given presentations to many groups across New York State, including the American Association of University Women, the Alliance for Democracy, Cornell University, NYU, Ulster County Community College, SUNY Oneonta, and League of Women Voters chapters.
Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area would particularly like to invite area elections officials at all levels and members of area county boards of supervisors.
Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area is a group following the leadership of Democracy For America, founded by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Areas meets regularly at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls. Details of the group and its events can be seen on its blog site, http://townmeetingday.blogspot.com/
Space is limited. People interested in this issue can stay informed by RSVPing at DFA link at http://tools.democracyforamerica.com/link/group.php?id=113 (registration is required ) and emailing organizers.