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Initial Report on NYS submission to the Court in the DOJ lawsuit

The April 10, 2006 submission by New York State to the Court hearing the Department of Justice lawsuit describes the anticipated "Plan B" solution. Here are some brief comments on the Voting Machines section only. NYVV is reviewing the statewide Voter Registration Database sections and will produce commentary shortly. This note is a brief review of the submitted plan for voting machines only.

There's not much here that we haven't heard in recent State Board meetings. There's specific dates for the 2006 plan implementation (most are extremely tight and perhaps unrealistic, and don't give the County Boards much time to
make decisions). They seem to only mention "ballot markers" as the alternative. However, it is unclear if Vote-By-Phone systems may also be considered ballot markers, as "ballot markers" is undefined.

The plan for 2007 compliance seems to correspond closely to the latest versions of the Voting System regulations which are being circulated but have yet to be voted on. The submission notes that the State Board is expecting to approve the final version of the regulations at the next State Board meeting. A date for that meeting has yet to be announced at the time
of this writing.

Below are some general provisions and dates from the Voting Machine sections of the states submissions.

NYS Board of Elections 2006 Compliance Plan

  • Ballot Marking devices in as many places as possible
     
  • No mention whatsoever of Vote-By-Phone system, although the term 'Ballot Marker' is not specifically defined.
     
  • Public testing of devices by ITA.
     
  • Citizens Advisory Committee invited to review Ballot Markers.
     
  • BOE to authorize an expedited certification process as Ballot Marker are less complex and do not count votes.

USE OF Ballot Marking devices

  • To be in use by 9/12/06 Federal Primary
     
  • Delivery in time for acceptance test, training, voter education.
     
  • BOE and County Board to determine how many Ballot Markers shall be used in each county
     
  • If can't have one Ballot Marker in every Polling Place, then one in "each town and city in the county, in each Assembly District in the county, in regional centers in the county, in a central location in the county, or in
    Polling Place intended to serve concentrations of disabled voters."

Contracts

  • BOE will advise DOJ of specific devices no later than 4/12/06.
     
  • State Comptroller asked to issue approval by 5/17/06 for contract or purchase or lease of Ballot Markers.
     
  • BOE provide DOJ with list of Ballot Markers they'll use no later than 5/07/06
     
  • Contracts to be executed at state level.
     
  • Vendors to present Ballot Markers to county Boards for evaluation. May be assisted by vendors.
     
  • County Boards notified within 2 days.
     
  • If County does not purchase a device by 5/22/06, the BOE will make a order for county no later than 5/30/06.
     
  • Vendors to estimate delivery dates of devices.

Training

  • Core Training materials to be delivered on or about 4/17/06
     
  • Developed around modules so that changes, updates can be inserted.
     
  • Completed prior to BOE Syracuse Conference 5/1/6 - 5/3//06
     
  • Disability Etiquette Training 3/28/06 - 4/12/06
     
  • County Boards to provide training plans.
     
  • BOE will provide DOJ county plans by 5/1/06. DOJ has 7 days to review.

Voter Education

  • BOE will provide guidelines at May conference.
     
  • County Boards to provide specific voter education plans.
     
  • BOE to provide DOJ with education plan by 5/1/06

Uniform Definition of a Vote

  • BOE will adopt standards that define what constitutes a vote no later than
    7/1/06.

NYS Board of Elections 2007 Compliance Plan

Machine Certification

  • BOE and ITA perform initial tests to ascertain readiness for certification.
     
  • Detailed test plan to be developed. Test dates to be scheduled by Board.
     
  • Vendor tech staff present during testing.
     
  • Certification via regulations to be passed at next BOE meeting
     
  • Public testing of machines
     
  • Effort to certify machines within 45 days of submission
     
  • Citizens Advisory Committee invited to review "ballot markers" (probable a
    copying error, they must mean attend the certification tests)
     
  • Replacement of lever machines in compliance with 2005 ERMA state law.

Acceptance Testing

  • BOE seeking consultant to develop staffing plans and procedures for implementation and oversight of testing.

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