Posted on January 6, 2010
On January 5th, 2010, the New York State Board of Elections announced the finalized selection of DS200 of ES&S as the new voting machine for the city of New York. A total of 9 commissioners voted this day, with the results of 6 in favor of ES&S, 1 for Dominion and the remaining 2 abstentions.
The newly selected voting machine is to be used starting this September 2010 primary elections, over the entire city of New York. This introduction of the new voting machine was an obligation enforced by the federal law, Help America Voter Act, to compensate the defects that occurred during the 2000 presidential elections.
The state of New York was the only state that was yet to introduce a new voting machine. Early December last year, the New York State Board of Elections approved DS200 of ES&S and ImageCast of Dominion. The New York State Board of Elections held open workshops and hearings, and finalized their decision yesterday, on January 5th, 2010.
This finalized decision is a business of a fifty million dollar scale, with an introduction of 5,000 to 7,000 new voting machines in the city of New York.
The Korean American Voters’ Council (KAVC) took an active participation during the process of selecting the new voting machines, and has made utmost efforts for the new machine to contain features that will allow easier implementation of the Korean voting service system.
Through the demonstrations, the Korean American Voters’ Council (KAVC) has judged that DS200 of ES&S is more convenient for Korean voters.
However, much concern has been raised as the Dominion Company has repeatedly testified on the hearing of December 29th, that ImageCast is produced in upstate New York (Rochester) which greatly aids in the creation of jobs in the state of New York and consequently should buy this system to avoid losing tax income of the state of New York to other states.
Although ImageCast is made in the state of New York, the equipments are inconvenient to use and will be difficult for the Korean voters since the Korean language service is of no use on the system.
KAVC attorney Chejin Park stated “I am glad that a more Korean voter-friendly system is chosen.”
The new machine operates similarly to the current absentee ballots system. Fill in the ovals under the candidate’s names with black pen or pencil in the voting booth, and insert the marked ballot into the scanner. The scanner will automatically read, and will guide a voter through the process. Voting process is expected to be convenient as menus can be selected on a touch screen similar to a bank ATM.
As only 9 months remain until the September primary elections, KAVC is planning to actively educate Korean voters on the new machine.
On late December, KAVC met Barbara Conacchio, the Chief Clerk of the Queens County Board of Elections (the Democratic Party), and Katherine A. James, who is the Deputy Chief Clerk of the Queens County Board of Elections (the Republican Party) as well as the one responsible for the Korean language service. During this meeting, the two have agreed to closely collaborate on the education of the new voting machine, Korean translation service, translator education and the Korean translation of the new voting machine.
<picture: new voting machine, DS200 Scanner of ES&S (upper), meeting with KAVC, Barbara Conacchio and Katherine A. James (lower)>